People's Democracy

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


No. 46

November 15, 2009

Reception Committee Formed for 13th CITU Conference


THE Punjab state unit of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) organised, on October 31, a general body meeting in Bhakna Bhawan, Sector 29 D, Chandigarh, with Vijay Mishra in chair. The meeting was called to constitute a reception committee for organising the 13th all-India conference of the CITU, scheduled to be held from March 17 to 21 coming.

State CITU�s working committee members, state representatives of CITU affiliated unions, those of Punjab Subordinate Services Federation, Govternment Teachers Union, Para Medical Union, Field and Workshop Union, Technical Services Union, BSNL Employees Union, Bank Employees Federation of India and LIC Employees Union, among others, attended the general body meeting. In addition to the trade union leaders, state level leaders of Punjab Kisan Sabha, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, Students Federation of India, Democratic Youth Federation of India and Janwadi Istri Sabha also participated, apart from a number of prominent personalities in Punjab.

CITU president Dr M K Pandhe, its general secretary Mohammed Amin and CPI(M) state secretary Charan Singh Virdi were also present in the meeting and addressed the audience.

Others who addressed the meeting included Dr Joginder Singh Puar, former vice chancellor of the Punjabi University in Patiala, Gobind Thukral (prominent journalist), Joginder Singh (advocate), Amarjit Singh (former solicitor general of India), Professor Manjit Singh (president, Punjab University Teachers Association), Dr Jaspal Singh and Hari Mohan (editor and general manager, respectively, of Punjabi daily Deshsewak).

While addressing the general body meeting, Dr M K Pandhe said the CITU�s 13th all-India conference would prove to be a milestone in the working class movement in India. He further said about 2500 delegates representing a 50 lakh membership from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari will participate in the conference. This conference will also be attended by more than 100 fraternal delegates from 45 countries in the world. The conference is expected to further strengthen the worldwide trade union movement against the anti-people and anti-worker policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. The CITU is set to start nationwide struggle against the anti-people policies of the UPA government, being followed under pressure from the pro-imperialist financial organisations like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Policies like rampant privatisation and disinvestment of public sector companies as well as the unabated increases in prices of essential commodities are designed to transfer the burden of the world economic crisis on to the working people, and resistance to them demands much wider unity of the working people. Pandhe also informed about the CITU�s vision of and initiative for strengthening joint struggles with other class and mass organisations in the country. He hailed the recent conference of the All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers, held in Chandigarh, adding that it had proved the potentials for the CITU�s growth in Punjab.

Mohammed Amin, MP, said the Punjabis have played a very important role in the freedom struggle and thousand of Punjabis sacrificed their lives; a large number spent long terms in jails and underwent untold miseries. He further stated that the ongoing global economic crisis is a systemic feature of the capitalist path of development. To face it and protect the working people from its adverse impacts, he told, the coming CITU conference would work out a strategy to roll back the imperialist pressure and interference in all walks of life in India. The conference will declare the CITU�s future programme of action to save India from imperialist economic slavery and to safeguard the interest of India�s working masses.

CITU�s all-India secretary Swadesh Dev Roye said the organisation�s membership had grown by ten lakhs in the last three years. This was a great achievement in the backdrop of falling trade union membership all over the world and in view of the considerable difficulties in enrolling members in a trade union. He expressed the hope that the comrades in Punjab would take up the challenge and convert it into an opportunity to show the potential of the trade union movement in Punjab and India.

Punjab CITU general secretary Raghunath Singh said the state unit of the organisation as obliged to have the honour of organising the all-India conference of the CITU and this has motivated the CITU members in the state. He further stated that every member of the CITU would work day and night to make this conference a success, to make it a unique and historic conference. He expressed hope that this conference would strengthen and give a fillip to the trade union movement all over India in general and particularly in Punjab.

Vijay Mishra proposed the names of reception committee office bearers, advisors and members and the general body meeting unanimously approved it. A 15-memeber subcommittee was also constituted for successful conduct of the conference. Thanking the participants and other renowned persons who had attended the meeting, Mishra expressed gratitude Dr M K Pandhe and Mohd Amin for giving an opportunity to the Punjab CITU to host the all-India conference of the CITU. Recalling that Punjab is the land of late Lala Lajpat Rai who was the founder president of the AITUC, the first central trade union organisation in India, he assured that they too would make the coming conference a grand success.

The 201-member reception committee has Dr J S Puar as chairman, Vijay Mishra as president, Raghunath Singh as general secretary, and Charan Singh Virdi, Amarjit Singh and Dr Jaspal Singh as vice chairmen.

During the meeting itself, a donation of more than 1,75,000 rupees was collected in cash, for the conference expenses. Participants promised on the spot donations of over 10 lakh rupees.

The Punjab state unit of the CITU has decided to run a programme of maximum mass contact in the state.