People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 50

December 10, 2006


Sponsoring Committee Of TUs Call


The Sponsoring Committee Of Trade Unions comprising central trade unions – AICCTU, AITUC, CITU, HMS, TUCC, UTUC and UTUC-LS – and all India Federations/Associations of employees and workers in bank, central & state government offices/departments, insurance, railway, civil aviation, defence, postal, petroleum, telecom and other sectors and independent unions issued the following statement on December 5, 2006.


A JOINT meeting of the central trade union organisations held on December 4, 2006 at New Delhi, reviewed the ongoing campaign all over the country in the run up to the countrywide strike on December 14, 2006, at the call of the Sponsoring Committee of Trade Unions.


While the UPA government at the centre persists with the hot pursuit of ‘reforms’, the working people of the country are slowly getting disenchanted with its ‘performance’.


Immediately after the July 25 National Convention of Workers, the prime minister had an interaction meeting with the senior trade union leaders of the country on August 19, 2006. On that occasion, the PM came out with certain assurances but the government, regrettably, failed to initiate any follow up action. While the prime minister is yet to implement his assurance of even writing to the chief ministers on ensuring implementation of labour laws, the nauseating chorus on labour law reforms is pursued vigorously.


The government is unconcerned over the sufferings of the people due to the spurt in prices of essential commodities. The agrarian distress is still haunting rural India, with no concrete steps in evidence to mitigate the miseries of kisans and rural workforce. The NCMP commitments for the enactment of legislations for the protection of agricultural labour and the unorganised sector workers appear to have been completely forgotten.


But, the Approach Paper of the Eleventh Five Year Plan, which is in its final stages, indicates that the government is in no mood to bring about a directional shift in its policies. The immediate target of the finance ministry appears to be to get through the parliament the banking law amendment and pension privatisation bills.


The first consultation meeting with the central trade unions convened by the new labour minister was for pushing through adverse changes in the Employees’ Pension Scheme. The threat of yet another reduction in the interest rate on EPF is looming large.


In this backdrop, there is an urgent need for stepping up the pressure on the government through mass struggles. We call upon the working people across the country, irrespective of affiliations, to rally en masse to make the countrywide strike on December 14 a historic success! (INN)