People's Democracy

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


No. 20

May 15, 2011




Major Unions Hold Rally in Chandigarh


AT the joint call of the major unions in Punjab, the CITU, AITUC, INTUC, HMS, NTUI and CTU-Punjab organised a massive rally in Sector 25, Chandigarh, in support of the burning demands of industrial workers, Anganwadi workers and helpers, ASHA and mid-day meal workers. The major demands are for an enhancement in the minimum wages, abolition of contract labour system, coverage of all workers under the Minimum Wages Act, ensuring the implementation of existing labour laws, and an enhancement of the honorarium for Anganwadi workers and helpers on the pattern of Haryana. Another important demand was for withdrawal of the anti-working class black bills like the  Punjab (Prevention of Damage to Public & Private Property) Act 2010 & Punjab Special Security Group Act 2010 which were passed in the monsoon session of the Punjab state assembly.


The rally was jointly chaired by Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal (president state AITUC), Vijay Mishra (president, state CITU), Ram Kishan Parmar (working president, state INTUC), Inderjit Singh Grewal (president, CTU-Punjab), Tarsem Jodhan (president, NTUI) and Kulwant Singh Bawa (president, state HMS).


AITUC general secretary Gurudas Das Gupta and CITU general secretary Tapan Sen were among those who addressed the rally. They condemned the anti-people and anti-nation economic policies of both the central and Punjab state government.


Both the speakers told that the record beating rise in the prices of essential commodities and steep hike in the electricity and drinking water charges, in the charges for health services and in tuition and admission fees of schools and colleges, and the mounting corruption scams were the results of the neo-liberal economic policies of the Congress led UPA government in the centre. Congratulating the trade unions of Punjab for launching a united struggle for the genuine demands of the workers, they urged upon the working class of the Punjab to further widen and intensify their united struggle against the anti-people policies of both the central and the state government.


Addressing the rally, state leaders of the CITU, AITUC, NTUI, INTUC and CTU demanded from the Punjab government that the minimum wages of the unskilled workers, semi-skilled workers and skilled workers must be enhanced to Rs 10,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 per month respectively. All categories of workers including the Anganwadi workers and helpers, ASHA and mid-day meal workers must be covered under the Minimum Wages Act. Implementation of the existing labour laws must be ensured. Contract labour system must be abolished and equal wages for equal work ensured. Mounting attacks on trade union rights must be stopped, all the false cases registered against trade union leaders must be withdrawn and the draconian black bills passed in the monsoon session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, including the recently passed anti-employee Punjab Civil Services Act must be scrapped.


Through a resolution adopted in the rally, the trade unions issued a joint call for Chakka Jam for two hours all over the state from 11 a m to 1 p m on June 14, if the government refused to accept the genuine demands of the workers of Punjab.