People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 45

November 16, 2008



All India Protest Day On Nov 21

THE working class of the country will observe an All India Protest Day on November 21, 2008 against the anti-labour and anti-people policies of the UPA government and demanding from the government to reverse its neo-liberal policies. The protests will take the form of dharnas, rallies, picketing etc through out the country.

The Sponsoring Committee of Trade Unions consisting - CITU, AITUC, AICCTU, HMS, AIUTUC, UTUC, TUCC and independent all India federations/union gave the call for this protest action in its meeting held on November 5, 2008 in New Delhi.

The meeting noted with serious concern the government’s belated acceptance that the deep economic crisis unfurling in the world would affect India also. Large scale loss of jobs is already in evidence in a number of sectors while there are reports of downsizing, cuts proposed in the wages etc. The impact of this crisis on India has not been as bad as it was feared only because of the strong presence of public sector in the economy.

Employers worldwide are attempting to take full advantage of the situation to force their agenda and enforcing wage cuts, lay off and retrenchment in various sectors, when the workers are adversely affected by unprecedented inflation and price rise. According to a report of the International Labour Organisation around 2 crore people shall lose jobs in the world due to this crisis.

As for India, the present situation would also impact adversely the small and medium scale industries as also the ancillaries of the big industries which survive on the outsourcing of the corporates and are dependent on exports. Some of them have already closed rendering the workers jobless. The impact of the crisis would be ominous for the unorganised workers and other toiling sections of people. The Sponsoring Committee underlined that it had been the usual practice of the employers, both Indians and MNCs, to put the burden of the economic crisis on the working people.

The recent constitution of a high power committee under the chairmanship of the prime minister 'to address the concerns of the captains of industry' accompanied by day-to-day monetary mechanism is a clear indication as to what path the government has chosen. The government has no concern about the serious situation caused to the working class on account of the economic crisis and the neo-liberal policies pursued by them. Several steps announced by the finance minister and the assurances made by the prime minister are in the nature of agreeing to the demands of the industrialists and big business.

Despite the collapse of the neo-liberal policies world over, Indian government has not learned the lessons and continues to the pursue the same neo-liberal policies and resorts to raising the EDT limits in the LIC, banks and the financial sector. The prime minister did not care to call the representatives of the working class, who are the worst hit.

The Sponsoring Committee calls upon the government to reverse the neo-liberal economic policies and withdraw financial bills pending before the parliament such as those hiking FDI in insurance, banking, pension bill etc. The Sponsoring Committee demands that the government should take immediate steps to strengthen the public sector, make massive investment in social sector, agriculture and production scheme including small and medium industries in order to create jobs.”