People's Democracy

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


No. 35

September 02, 2012


‘TUs will Resist Maruti Suzuki’s

Summary Retrenchment of Workers’


OUR country’s financial system and economic stability will be in peril if the proposed Banking Laws Amendment Bill is allowed to be passed, felt the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) president A K Padmanabhan while congratulating the 10 lakh employees in banking sector for their successful strike against this Bill.


Addressing media persons in Hyderabad on August 22, 2012 he expressed full support of the CITU to the ongoing struggle of bank employees under the joint platform of United Forum of Bank Unions. “If the present bill, which entails change in voting rights to foreign and private investors upto 49 per cent, is passed it will put in danger the very existence of Indian banks, both PSU and private sector. The public sector banks will be more vulnerable to attacks from private sector”, he said. Saying that it is the international finance capital that is pushing for these changes, the CITU leader called upon the bank employees to resist this bill with all their might.


A national convention of eleven central trade unions will be organised in New Delhi on September 4 to chalk out  countrywide agitation programmes which will culminate in another all India General Strike in February 2013. This strike will be more than one day, said Padmanabham. Every worker in every industry is expected to participate in both the run up programmes and the strike action itself.


Referring to the Maruti Suzuki management’s decision to remove 500 workers and restart production under heavy police cover, Padmanabhan asserted that this will not be allowed. Already the trade unions in Haryana are fighting against this unitedly and the central trade unions are fully supporting the struggle. He referred to the huge joint rally held by workers in Gurgaon on August 17 protesting this move of Maruti Suzuki management. He charged the management of violating all labour laws of the country by summarily retrenching the workers. He demanded an independent inquiry into the incidents of violence on July 18 in view of different versions emerging about it.


The state of affairs in Maruti’s Manesar plant is only one example of the kind of brutal exploitation of workers being done by MNCs, whose rate of profit is much higher than Indian private companies. High contractorisation, paltry payment, no social security benefits etc mark these workplaces. The CITU leader demanded that the government of India must immediately amend the Contract Labour Act to ensure ‘equal pay for equal work’. Although the labour ministry has accepted it, the government is delaying to bring the amendments by giving dubious reasons in view of the opposition of employers. He also demanded that the minimum wage for workers must immediately be raised to at least Rs 10,000 per month along with providing of social security and pension.


CITU secretary Dr K Hemalata announced that a Maha padav (mass sit-in) protest programme will be held in New Delhi from November 26 onwards in which huge numbers of ‘scheme workers’ will participate. The governments have of late adopted a strategy of floating various social welfare schemes to carry out tasks which they were duty bound to provide to people. For example ICDS, NRHM, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, ASHA etc are employing people for work but they are not provided any wages. In one case it is honorary allowance, in another it is stipend etc. They are paid a pittance although they work for long hours in difficult conditions. It is estimated that there are around 1 crore workers employed under various schemes, majority of whom are women.


The CITU has decided to take up their issues in a big way and as part of it presently there is a countrywide campaign at ground level to explain the injustice done to these workers among people. This campaign will culminate in the Maha padav, said Hemalata. Efforts will be made to involve the beneficiaries of these schemes also in this struggle.


CITU AP state president M Saibabu and secretary K Dhanalakshmi also participated in the media conference.