People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 29, 2004
Observe All India Demands Day
AS decided jointly by the central trade unions and all India employees federations, the working people all over the country held massive demonstration on August 20 to protest against the reduction in interest rate on EPF, against the decision to enhance FDI cap in insurance, civil aviation and telecom sectors, the move to privatise airports, de-reservation of 85 items from the list of small scale sector and other anti-workers measures of the government. All the states and industrial centres witnessed these demonstrations, which also highlighted the urgent demands of the toiling people viz., comprehensive legislation to ensure employment protection and social security benefits for the workers in the unorganised sector and agricultural sector, revival of sick PSUs, proper enforcement of labour laws pertaining to minimum wages, social security etc., clearance of statutory dues of the workers, and urgent steps to address the problems of the traditional sector industries among others.
20, 2004 witnessed the massive response of the toiling people to the call of All
India Demands Day. In the country’s capital at New Delhi, demonstration was
held at Patel Chowk, Parliament Street which was attended by the industrial
workers and employees from Delhi and around. The rally was addressed by M K
Pandhe, president CITU, D L Sachdeva (AITUC), Harbhajan Singh (HMS), Achintya
Sinha (UTUC-LS), Aboni Roy (UTUC) and Swapan Mukherjee (AICCTU). Pandhe asserted
that the UPA government must honour the mandate of the people in the last
election and refrain from the anti-workers and anti-people measures. He wanted
the government to note of the message being given by the working class through
the successful observance of the All India Demands Day. He warned the working
class would have to further intensify its struggles if the government does not
retrace its anti-worker steps. He called upon workers to prepare for these
struggles, including strike action in the days to come.
the same day, the Indira Gandhi International Airport witnessed a massive
demonstration of airport workers called by the Joint Forum of Airport Employees
Against Privatisation, which comprised of both the workers and officers’
associations. The airport workers rally was addressed by Tapan Sen, secretary
CITU, Sunil Khan MP (LS), Dr Chandrakala Pandey MP (RS) and M K Ghosal, convenor
of the joint forum.
received from various parts of the country revealed that almost all the
districts of the country witnessed massive demonstrations, rally, procession etc
on August 20.
Punjab, rallies were held in all district headquarters. The demonstrations at
Chandigarh and Ludhiana in
particular have drawn several thousands of workers and employees from all
Himachal Pradesh, a dharna was held in front of the office of District
Collectorate at Shimla by the central trade unions and employees organisations
jointly. Jagat Ram, treasurer, CITU addressed the rally along with others. Also,
several Hydel Project sites in the
state witnessed massive
demonstrations on this day.
Haryana, more than thousands took part in the demonstration at Hissar. Rallies
were organised in other districts of the state as well, which received good
response. In Uttranchal reports of demonstration were received from the state
capital at Dehradun and Haridwar. Reports about demonstrations/rallies organised
in several districts of Rajasthan, including in Jaipur, were received.
of statewide observance of All India Demands Day through demonstrations/rally,
processions, dharna etc were also
received Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
correspondent B Prasant reports from Kolkata:
Red flags and rallies marked the All India Demands Day call in Bengal. Demanding immediate withdrawal of the anti-worker and anti-employee policies of the Congress-led UPA government, workers’, and employees’ all over the state participated in the rallies
Addressing a big rally held at the Rani Rashmoni Road crossing in Kolkata, state CITU president Shyamal Chakraborti said that the Congress-led UPA came to office as a result of the huge popular backlash against the anti-people and communal outlook of the BJP-led NDA government.
UPA government could be formed with the Congress winning a mere 145 of 543 Lok
Sabha seats, taking advantage of the prevailing political situation.
Should the UPA government decide to walk the same anti-worker and
anti-people path, the workers and employees would launch struggles and movements
against it.”, he added.
said that the security of the toiling people in the organised sector was in
jeopardy. The UPA government would not take the responsibility of the
unorganised workers’ and agricultural workers’ social security.
The movement would continue as an expression of the strong protest of the
toiling people against the government’s neglect of the interests of the
workers and employees, Chakraborti assured the rally.
the main resolution before the rally, state CITU general secretary, Kali Ghosh
said that the UPA government must roll back its anti-workers, anti-people
measures taken so far. He said that while enhancing the price of petrol and
diesel, the UPA government appeared quite bent upon attacking the interests of
the common people across the country. Bigger
movements are in the offing against all anti-people moves by the union
government, said Ghosh.
principal speakers at the rally were: Ranajit Guha (AITUC), Ashok Ghosh (UTUC),
Shyamal Banerjee (bank employees’ movement), Lalta Prasad (HMS), and S K
Brahma (Railway employees’ movement). Chunilal
Dasgupta presided over the rally.
Re-examine the decision on maintaining the interest rate on Special Deposit Scheme (SDS), GPF and PPF, which was reduced from 12 per cent to 8 per cent by the NDA regime in successive years. Fixing the interest rate at 8 per cent will push the rate of interest on Employees Provident Fund further down. Therefore, interest rate on SDS requires upward revision, keeping in view the united demand of the trade union movement since April 2002 for restoration of the same to 12 per cent.
Make adequate bud getary allocations for extending social security for the workers in the unorganised and agricultural sectors, along with steps for early passage of requisite legislations for these sections, on the lines suggested by the CTUOs. Ensure effective enforcement of all labour laws relating to minimum wages, social security benefits etc in all sectors (including contract workers)
Scrap decision for enhancing FDI cap for telecom, civil aviation and insurance sectors, which will result in foreign finance capital securing a total grip over these sectors of the economy thereby jeopardising national security and economy.
Scrap the decision on de-reservation of 85 items from the list earmarked for small-scale sector. Provide concessional credit to the small scale and tiny sectors.
Withdraw the taxation on perquisites/welfare benefits of the employees during 2001-02 and the present proposal to subject the terminal benefits of social security scheme to taxation.
Expedite steps for revival of the sick public sector units, which are potentially viable, within the PSU framework and make adequate provisions therefore. No dilution of government stake in banks and other financial institutions.
Clear all unpaid wages and statutory dues of the workers in all PSUs.