(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 21, 2010
G Mamatha from
THE 13th all-India conference of
the Centre of Indian
Trade Unions (CITU) began in
The conference started with the
flag hoisting by all-India
president of the CITU, Dr M K Pandhe, followed by homage to the
president of the reception committee, Dr Joginder Singh Paur,
chancellor of the
M K Pandhe delivered the presidential address. Speaking about the national and international situation, he said the conference is taking place at a time when the world is at a crossroads and the working class has to make a positive contribution to shaping the destiny of the world. The recent global capitalist crisis has brought to the forefront the inevitability of the periodic crisis in a capitalist system.
As a result of globalisation, speculative trade has got a powerful boost; and its real beneficiaries are the multinational corporations who operate through worldwide financial institutions. During 2007, for example, speculative trade in commodity market was five times bigger than the total trade in stock market. It has reached scandalous proportions; it has been revealed that it was ten times larger than the world GDP.
The drive towards privatisation
and market economy
always leads to speculative tendencies and the capitalist mode of
bound to create such a crisis. The
Pandhe said with the advent of
foreign companies had invested in US, while several
Capitalism attempted to put the burden of the crisis on the shoulders of the working class and the poor people. The International Labour Organisation estimated that as a result of the global crisis the unemployment level in the world is going to reach 20 crore! Bailout packages were given to big corporates and financial tycoons, but no relief was given to the workers who lost their jobs due to severe recession engulfing the economy.
Pandhe emphasised that the tax burden of the bailout packages ultimately fell on the working class and the common people. The collapse of the share markets in leading capitalist countries resulted in the workers losing trillions of dollars of their pension funds, which were invested by the pension authorities in speculative activities. In our country, the workers were saved from this horror due to the Left parties’ strong opposition to the UPA government’s move to pump the pension funds into speculative activities. In several countries, wage cuts were imposed on the workers, adversely affecting their living standards.
Pandhe said to blunt the edge of working class struggles, attack on their trade union rights have acquired a global character. Elementary trade union and democratic rights of the workers are being undermined to suit the interests of the capitalist class. Those who were not responsible for the global crisis suffered most while those who created the crisis received all the protection by the capitalist state power.
The global economic crisis had severe impacts on the Indian economy. Indian exports were drastically reduced and the textile and garment, leather, engineering goods, jewellery and diamond cutting industries were seriously affected. There was a drastic slowdown in Indian economy and there was a reduction in industrial output. According to the Assocham, about a crore of workers lost their source of livelihood due to the global crisis.
Pandhe observed that if the
Indian banking industry
did not collapse, it was because the banks were owned by the
government. Even the Life Insurance Corporation was not affected
was in the public sector. If the UPA government had succeeded in
privatising these sectors, the impact of the crisis in
In line with other advanced
capitalist countries, the
UPA government announced a liberal ‘stimulus package’ of an estimated
Rs 5 lakh
crore to save the Indian industry. However, no relief was given to
workers who were the worst victims of the crisis. The experience
of this bailout
package shows that the amount pumped in, only fattened the big business
both Indian and foreign. Imposition of 12 hours day of work,
workload on the workers, closing down industrial units without
legal procedure, retrenchment of workforce without paying statutory
compensation became the order of the day. The government of
Commenting about the foreign
policy of the UPA
government, Pandhe said when all the world witnessed firm opposition to
hegemony, which has hit hard the very concept of unipolar world, the
government has accepted subservience to US imperialists’ global
The joint military exercises between
Pandhe said that after achieving success in the recent parliamentary elections, the UPA government is pursuing the policy of globalisation and market economy with more determination. It is no more dependent on the support of the Left parties which is making government arrogant in doggedly pursuing their pro-World Bank and IMF policies.
Speaking about the price rise, he said the prices of essential commodities have increased sky-high making the life of toiling people more difficult. The government refuses to ban the forward trading in essential commodities. Minimum support price was fixed so low that peasants find it uneconomic to produce food grains. The sugarcane growers were also denied adequate price for their sugarcane by sugar millowners. The collapse of public distribution system has made the condition even worse. The recent rise in petrol and diesel prices has only added fuel to the fire.
Talking about the disinvestment
drive of the UPA
government, he said it would ultimately lead to privatisation of all
sector undertakings. The total reserves of the public sector have
5.50 lakh crore while the number of loss making units have reduced
during the last five years. The performance of public sector
much improvement and hence there is no justification for disinvesting
profit making public sector undertakings. The public sector
have played an important role in building a self-reliant economy in
Pandhe said remarkable trade
union unity has been
Pandhe concluded exhorting the delegates to educate the working class that there would be no material improvement in the working and living conditions of our working class without abolition of the capitalist exploitation and establishment of a socialist system. An ideological struggle in the trade union movement is of paramount importance to eliminate the bourgeois ideologies prevailing among the working class. He called on the delegates to dedicate themselves to this historic task so that massive struggles are built up in the forthcoming period against capitalist onslaughts. Armed with revolutionary ideology of the working class, he said we have to move forward, despite heavy odds, in the direction of achieving the goal of socialism on the Indian soil.
35 foreign delegates from 15 countries are also participating in this conference. They were introduced and felicitated in the inaugural session.