People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 14, 2007
Bengal CITU Council Identifies Tasks Ahead
THE 34th state council meeting of the Bengal CITU was held over December 26-28 at Midnapore town. The meeting took a full stock of the developments on the trade union struggles and movements nationally and internationally, and noted the problems and prospects of the Bengal unit of the CITU. It also identified the tasks that lay ahead of the organisation.
The council meeting started with an underlining of the sweep of success of the all-India general strike held on December 14 and noted that more than six crore of the people took an active part in making the strike a redoubtable triumph of the working class.
The council meeting, in the secretarial report and during discussion by the delegates, focussed attention on the struggle worldwide and nationwide against the attack of imperialist globalisation and liberalisation. Taking to task the UPA union government, the Bengal CITU council spoke of the economic dysfunction gradually overtaking the country on the way to overwhelming the national economy. The anti-imperialist globalisation struggles worldwide were noted and the delegates pointed that lessons needed to be drawn from these movements.
The secretary’s report noted also the independent initiative of the CITU nationwide and it clearly stated how more than 1000 rallies were held all over Bengal under the aegis of the CITU to protest against the attacks being brought down on the hard-earned rights of the working class in the country. Such attacks are being orchestrated especially in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhatisgarh.
The council meeting endorsed the industrial policy of the Bengal Left Front government and said that in circumstances of limitation, the Bengal Left Front government would forge ahead against unemployment and poverty and boldly adopt programmes for the development of the state, for industrialisation, and for the creation of jobs.
The Bengal CITU council meeting recalled how the CITU units could launch a movement statewide against the unreasonable attempts by the Bengal opposition to sabotage the setting up of an automobile factory at Singur and how these attempts were brought into focus at the vast TU rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds on December 3. The rally was held principally in support of the December 14 strike action nationwide.
The 33rd CITU council meeting had resolved that the vast army of the working people in the rural stretches and urban conurbations would be brought under the organisation. The ongoing task is being taken further forward with the active participation of the vast array of the units of the Bengal AIKS in the 38,000-odd Bengal villages.
Focussing attention on the ongoing struggles and movements of the working class in Bengal, the CITU council noted that many new factories were coming up in the state. These include sponge iron, and iron & steel units. Newer tea gardens and botleaf are coming up in the dooars areas. Cement manufacturing factories have gone recently up from 2 to 41. These units are all generating fresh employment. CITU units have to counter the acts of aggression on workers’ rights by the managements and ensure the following:
Generation of employment
Implementation of the Factory Act
Implementation of Shops and Establishments Act
Implementation of ESI Act and PF Act and
Implementation of the Pollution Act
A coordination committee of TU units in sponge iron, iron & steel, and botleaf factories has been set up. Movement has been set in motion based on a charter of demands. A coordination committee of the same kind has been set up for the cement manufacturing units in Bengal. A united union has been established for the Railway Contractors as per the resolution of the all-India CITU.
The CITU council meeting looked back for review at the programmes of mass health, literacy, and culture taken up by the organisation statewide. An organisation has been set up by the CITU-affiliated units of the electricity workers, the road transport workers, the construction workers, the electricity work assistants, and the seamen to increase and widen consciousness about HIV/AIDS. 70 workers have been trained up as leaders and 225 as assistant teachers. The port and shore union has set up a literacy camp.
The council meeting also took up the issues of the role of the department of labour of the Bengal Left Front government and the democratic functioning of TUs. The following tasks were identified:
CITU membership should be increased to stand at 20 lakh come 2007
The strength of the organisation should be expanded and widened across the state
CITU must take up the task of acting as a bridge between the pro-people and especially pro-worker projects of the state government and the people themselves
Kisan-mazdoor teams to be set at the block-level onwards and the process quickened further
The struggle to preserve the hard earned rights of workers must be continued with vigour as an ongoing task
The wider section of the working people participating in the December 14 strike action must be organised under the banner of the CITU
The circulation of the Bengali monthly Shramik Andolan must be increased further in a planned manner
The council meeting was addressed by the state CITU leadership. Their ranks included state president Shyamal Chakraborty who inaugurated the meeting, Mohd Amin, Basudeb Acharya, state general secretary Kali Ghosh, state secretaries Dipak Dasgupta, and Arati Dasgupta, state treasurer Dilip Chatterjee, labour minister Mrinal Banerjee and others. All-India kisan leader Benoy Konar among others addressed the open session of the meeting.