People's Democracy

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


No. 39

September 26, 2004

United Movement Needed To Safeguard

Masses’ Interests: Bengal CITU

 B Prasant


MEETING at Shramik Bhavan in Kolkata recently, the West Bengal state council of Bengal CITU has urged for a united movement for safeguarding the interests of the masses. It has also urged for an unqualified success of the rally called by the Bengal unit of the National Platform of Mass Organisations (NPMO) on October 1 at the Shahid Minar maidan in Kolkata. Shyamal Chakraborti presided over the council meeting.

The state council noted that the rally must be organised from the grassroots level. At the level of blocks, ward-based rallies, processions and conventions are to be organised. These actions will be held with participation from the 50 mass organisations that make up the Bengal unit of the NPMO. Shyamal Chakraborti noted that the October 1 rally would be preceded by the distribution of 35,000 posters each in Bengali and Hindi and of 1,30,000 leaflets.


Some of the demands posed by the Bengal unit of the NPMO are as below.

  1. There should be a comprehensive legislation for the benefit, including social security, of the workers engaged in unorganised and domestic sectors.

  2. A law must be enacted to ensure employment as per the Common Minimum Programme.

  3. At least one person from each of the poor urban and rural families should be provided work for at least 100 days.

  4. The public distribution system should be strengthened and should be implemented for poor people in tribal, backward areas.

  5. Public investment should be increased in agriculture and kisans should be provided loans at low interest rates

  6. The union government should take an initiative for the implementation of land reform programmes, lower the land ceiling, and distribute ceiling surplus land among the poor kisans.

  7. The verdict of the apex court taking away of the right to strike must be reversed and the union government must enact a legislation to secure the right to strike.

  8. Legislation must be put in place so that equal rights for women are ensured against social and economic discrimination and suffering, along with establishment of equal pay for equal work.

  9. The reservation bill for women must be passed immediately.

  10. The union government must implement as early as possible all existing central projects including those for railway extension, stoppage of river erosion, flood control, and take up and implement news projects.

The state council meeting also discussed in detail the issue of unorganised workers. Shyamal Chakraborti said 94 per cent of the workers in the country belonged to the unorganised sector. There was need to bring them in the fold of organised trade union movement. There is a lacuna in building up movements with their participation. Just as the CITU must play the principal role in organising the unorganised in urban areas, the AIKS initiate the same role in rural stretches. Boothwise reports of unorganised workers must be prepared statewide and they must be inducted into the organisation.


In the council meeting, Bengal CITU secretary Debanjan Chakraborti mentioned the initiative taken by the state Left Front government for setting up a welfare council for construction workers. CITU leader Dipak Dasgupta moved a condolence resolution. Veteran CITU leader Samar Mukherjee was present at the council meeting. (INN)