(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 30, 2009
CITU GENERAL COUNCIL MEET
“Fight Onslaughts on Livelihood & Labour Rights, Expose Imperialist Designs”
MEETING at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh from August 18 to 21, the General Council of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has urged the working class movement to mobilise the people in the struggle against gradual capitulation of the ruling classes and the government at the centre to the US imperialist designs on all fronts --- economic, political, defence, trade, environment et al, forcing upon the people a reign of miseries and deprivation and at the same time severely undermining the national sovereignty. The General Council noted in detail the miseries inflicted on the mass of the people in the form of back-breaking price rise of essential commodities (which the widespread drought situation throughout the country has further aggravated), attack on labour rights in the face of massive job losses and retrenchment on the plea of recession. On the other hand, the government of the day is succumbing to the imperialist pressure in deregulating the financial sector of the economy in the midst of a global financial meltdown, giving the foreign products free access to the country’s agricultural and industrial market in the ongoing Doha round of trade talks, making a posture of surrender in the matter of carbon emission on environmental grounds and allowing US imperialists free hand in the inspection of our defence installations in a shameless manner. The government is thus putting the nation’s sovereignty and economy at stake because of its anxiety of remaining faithful to its strategic alliance with US imperialists. This is having a serious bearing on the livelihood and democratic rights of the people and self-reliant development of the national economy.
In such a situation, the General Council has decided to go in for an intensive countrywide campaign to expose these disastrous anti-national designs, and heighten the united movement of the working class to cry halt to the nefarious game of the ruling classes.
The General Council session
with a mass rally on August 18, attended by tens of thousands of
Tirupati and adjoining areas. The presence of women workers in the
noticeable. A several thousand strong colourful procession of workers
at 2.30 pm and moved through the entire city to converge into a rally
president M K Pandhe, general secretary Mohammed Amin, state CITU
The General Council session commenced on August 19 at Ramatulshi Kalayanmandapam, with 300 members from all over the country and across the sectors attending it.
In his presidential address, Pandhe dealt in detail with the international scenario of a severe global crisis of the world capitalist order and the severest recession signifying almost a collapse-like situation even in the advanced capitalist countries. Forthright criticisms against the manner capitalism operated under neo-liberal doctrine are being loudly voiced even from unexpected quarters, putting all doctrine-mongers of neo-liberalism on the defensive. Several international forums including the ILO in particular and even some heads of state from advanced capitalist countries are pointing fingers to the policy of deregulated finance, aggressively pushed through at the behest of imperialist powers and multilateral agencies, and the speculation fuelled by such policies, thereby exposing the extreme fragility of the world capitalist order. In this background, the world is also witnessing widespread protest by the toiling people, opposing the bailout of speculators with public money and demanding concrete action against massive job losses, wage cuts etc, and demanding employment and income generation. This is no doubt a positive development for the working class movement and the basic class politics underlying the CITU movement, Pandhe asserted.
The address also pointed to
the increasing servility of the Indian government to the
While referring to the setback to the Left in the recent parliamentary elections, the address said the working class movement is now facing a more serious challenge. In order to combat it, the CITU has to prepare organisationally with a clear ideological orientation, fight back the capitalist and imperialist onslaught in a determined manner, continuously sharpen the class struggle, and simultaneously fight the capitalist and imperialist ideologies and their machineries to sow illusion about capitalism among the people. The task of launching uncompromising struggles against alien class ideologies within the working class and to rebuff the trend of reconciling with such ideological attacks on the plea that “there is no alternative” is of paramount importance today for our movement, Pandhe reiterated.
NEED TO UNITE
Mohammed Amin presented the general secretary’s report to the General Council. It outlined the developments in the national context since the last CITU working committee meeting in January 2009. Referring to the setback suffered by the Left in the 15th Lok Sabha elections, the report said the post-election scenario signals a bigger challenge for the working class movement. The moves already made by the new government indicate a more aggressive pursuit of neo-liberal policies in the days to come and a bigger attack on the rights and livelihood of the toiling people. The Economy Survey (2008-09) and both the railway budget and the general budget laid bare in detail the roadmap of the second UPA government for whole-hog liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation of the Indian economy along with an aggressive design to change the labour laws in favour of the employers. In the face of alarming rises in the prices of essential commodities, the government is refusing to curb the speculation in the commodity market. It has rather taken steps to encourage speculation by abolishing the commodity transaction tax in the latest budget.
On the other hand, the report
pointed out, policy initiatives of the Congress led government, in both
economic and political fields, are visibly in tune with US imperialist
interests --- much to the detriment of the interests of the national
and common people. The government is seen capitulating to the
Overall, the situation today
is such that our rulers are gradually pushing the country into a
trap. The CITU has to play a frontline role in mobilising the people
Mohd Amin pointed out that CITU must draw appropriate lessons from the setback suffered by the Left in the elections, undertake a thorough review of our organisational and ideological activities, of the shortcomings and weaknesses therein at all levels, and prepare to combat the unfolding challenges before the working class movement by uniting the entire class in struggle.
The report also dealt with the
continuing physical attacks being made against the Left forces and the
democratic movement in
The report also pointed out that the Congress led combine’s sense of jubilation over its recent victory cannot last for long. In the present crisis ridden situation, the policy compulsions of a neo-liberal regime are destined to make the crisis more severe and negatively impact the mass of the people, resulting in their disillusionment provided our campaign is effective. We must be in readiness throughout the country to address such a situation by mobilising the toiling masses for the increasingly fiercer struggle. We need to work for broadening the united platform of struggle on the one hand. On the other hand, the CITU must prepare itself ideologically and organisationally at all levels, Amin reiterated.
In the deliberation that followed, 37 comrades took part, as did leaders from industrial federations from the coal, steel, waterfront, electricity, anganwadi, plantation, construction and petroleum sectors. Leaders from fraternal trade unions like the BEFI, AIIEA, AISGEF and AIDEF, among others, also addressed the General Council.
All the speakers broadly
endorsed the formulations made in the general secretary’s report, dealt
various shortcomings and weaknesses in the organisation and the past
with a self-critical approach, and stressed the urgent need of
at all levels of the organisation on political and ideological issues
prepare effectively the organisation to confront the challenges ahead.
suggested solidarity campaigns and actions throughout the country with
struggle of the
After Mohd Amin replied to the points raised in the deliberation, the General Council unanimously adopted resolutions 1) on drought situation and need for urgent action by the government for relief to the farmers and the people; 2) in solidarity with the BSNL employees’ two-day strike (it has already taken place on August 19-20); 3) in solidarity with the Bengal people’s struggle against attacks from the reactionary and ultra-left forces; 4) greeting the people and working class of Andhra Pradesh; 5) denouncing the central government’s reported move to impose restrictions on enlisting people under the poverty line even under the faulty official parameters; and 6) against the Indo-ASEAN free trade agreement.
The General Council urged the
working class to make the joint national convention of central trade
be held on September 14 at
Another important decision was to observe “West Bengal Solidarity Day” on September 10 countrywide against the violent Trinamul-Maoist attacks on the Left and the working class movement there with active instigation from some of the central ministers.
The General Council decided for a thorough, self-critical review at all levels of organisation. Regarding the CITU’s 13th national conference in February 2010, it directed the affiliated units and state committees to clear all membership dues to the CITU Centre latest by September 30.
December 3 will mark the 25th