People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 28, 2007
Food Agencies Workers Hold Rally
AT the initiative of CITU, a joint state level rally of workers of various food agencies including the FCI, was held against contract labour System. Despite busy season, over five thousand workers of CITU, AITUC, INTUC and an independent union took part in this rally. Ram Singh, president Lal Jhanda FCI workers and Palledar union, Harjas Singh, Lachhman Singh Chanarthal and Karam Deol presided over the rally.
Addressing the rally, all India general secretary of FCI workers federation and ex-MP of CPI(M), Dr Asim Bala strongly condemned the central government’s anti-working class policies and said that the ministry of food has little respect for the law of the land. Dr Asim Bala warned the UPA government that if genuine demands of the FCI workers are not accepted and violation of labour laws not stopped, the workers would be compelled to further intensify the agitation.
In his address, all India vice president of CITU, Raghunath Singh said that contract labour system is an inhuman exploitation of the workers and detrimental to the general interest of the FCI and added that the nexus between the authorities of the FCI and the contractors is leading to a loot of the FCI . He condemned Akali-BJP government for extending contract system to many other jobs of permanent nature in food agencies. Raghunath Singh threatened the centre and the state government that the workers would gherao the ministers of the centre and state government if contract labour system is not abolished in the food agencies. He also placed a resolution against Indo-US nuclear deal which was passed by shouting sky roaring slogans and the workers pledged to launch intensive campaign against the nuclear deal. Raghunath Singh called on the workers to prepare for December 4-5, 2007 satyagrah against contract labour system and out sourcing.
The rally was also addressed by the state general secretary of AITUC Bant Singh Brar who demanded abolition of contract labour system in the food agencies since the work done in the food agencies is of permanent nature. Others who addressed the rally included Raghuvir Singh Dhilon from trade union council, A Sawheny and Bal Kishan, president and general secretary Chandigarh CITU, Bhajan Singh Sangrur, Malkit Singh, Mukhtiar Singh Bakhtawar Singh, Kaka Singh, Rampal, Pamma Singh, Ganga Paswan, Mohinder Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Kulwant Singh and Ranjit Singh.
ELECTRICAL WORKERS CONFERENCE DECIDES TO INTENSIFY STRUGGLE
The conference of Electrical Workmen was held at Cheema Bhawan was attended by 125 delegates. The presidium comprised Baljeet Singh, Sohan Singh and Lakhbir Singh and was inaugurated by Raghunath Singh, general secretary of CITU Punjab. He greeted the delegates of the Electrical workmen union for holding the conference and lashed out against the policies of UPA government saying that it seems to be more committed to America than to the people of the country. He condemned the central government’s haste to implement the nuclear which is detrimental to our country’s interest.
The conference was also addressed by A Sawhney and Balkishan, general secretary and president of CITU Chandigarh. Addressing the delegates they condemned the attitude of the Chandigarh administration and of the state Finance minister for his non sympathetic attitude towards the workers and employees of Chandigarh. They demanded the immediate release of the bonus for the UT employees as it is applicable in all other union territories.
The activity report of the union was placed by Rakesh Kumar, general secretary of the union. He said the administration/MC authorities are not sympathetic to the genuine demands of the union and to improve the functioning of electrical department. The workers of electrical circle are agitating under the banner of their union and under the banner of Co-ordination committee demanding the filling up of vacant posts and creating new ones to reduce workload. Rakesh Kumar also said that due to the absence of officers, issues related to the welfare of the employees are not being addressed and the work of the department is suffering. There is a large scale resentment among the employees. He said the union demands filling of the vacant posts of superintendent engineer, executive engineers and sub divisional engineers, junior engineers and posts of electricians, foreman, and trade mates etc, which are lying vacant from a very long time. It also demanded to provide the liveries, tools, tool bags, uniform, jobs to the dependents in case of death and removal of 5 percent ceiling, amendment in notification dated January 13,1992, bonus, abolishing contract system in the electrical circle, implementation of minimum wages for the contract workers, housing scheme for electrical workers at subsidised rate, ESI and PF for contract workers.
Daya Ram, treasurer placed the report on accounts. 17 delegates participated in the discussion on the general secretary and treasurer report. Both the reports were passed by the conference unanimously.
The condolence resolution, resolution demanding bonus, abolishing contract system, against price hike and communalism, against the attack on the convenor of co-ordination committee Rakesh Kumar, privatisation of pension funds and building of costly houses by the Chandigarh Housing board were adopted. The conference also decided to intensify the struggle if the demand of bonus was not accepted.
The conference was greeted by the leaders of Chandigarh government transport workers union, CMC horticulture union, Chandigarh housing board supervisory union, public health workers union, Punjab & Chandigarh medical and sales representatives union, north zone insurance employees association, Chandigarh Safai Karamchari union and Punjab engineering college employees union.
The conference unanimously elected Rakesh Kumar as general secretary, Baljeet Singh as president, Daya Ram as treasurer and Sohan Singh has chairman and a 21- member working committee.