People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXVII

No. 12

March 24, 2013

 

LUDHIANA, PUNJAB

 

Brick-kiln, Construction Workers Hold Demo

 

AT the call of the Lal Jhanda Bhatha Mazdoor Union and the Bharat Nirmaan Union, affiliated to the CITU, about 10,000 brick-kiln workers and the construction workers held a rally near Gill Chowk in Ludhiana, on March 11. Satpal Bharti, president of the Lal Jhanda Bhatha Mazdoor Union, and Bagga Singh, convenor  of the Bharat Nirmaan Union, jointly presided over.

 

Addressing the rally, state CITU general secretary Raghunath Singh and Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Unions general secretary Tarsem Jodhan condemned the anti-people and anti-national economic policies which have led to record beating price rise, unemployment, privatisation and commercialisation of basic and essential services like supply of drinking water, education, health services, power and financial services etc. They strongly criticised the Akali-BJP government of Punjab, too, for its failure to check the blackmarketing of sand and concrete which are necessary for construction works.

 

The leaders further told that the sand mafia was selling sand at the rate of Rs 15000 per trolley, making it very difficult for common people to build houses and the government complete various projects. The brick-kiln owners are also facing a very difficult situation due to shortage of sand and its rising price due to tacit support of the Punjab government to the sand mafia.

 

One may note that the Punjab CITU has been demanding that before any auction of sand mining takes place, the rates of sand must be so fixed that common people may get it at reasonable prices. The CITU leaders said if the rates of sand and concrete were not controlled, the brick-kiln industry and some other industries which produce the material needed for construction works would face a critical situation and that the employment of 15 lakh brick-kiln workers, construction workers and those in allied industries would be in danger.

 

The CITU has also been demanding immediate implementation of the notification, issued on November 15, 2012, regarding revision in minimum wages should be ensured and violation of labour laws stopped.

 

The rally was also addressed by state CITU vice president Chandar Shekhar who was also the founder general secretary of Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union, district CITU president Jatinderpal Singh, state CITU secretary Mohinder Kumar, Prakash Singh Jasowal, Charanjit Singh, Amarnath Kumkalan, Hanuman Prasad Dube and Jagdish Chaudhary. The rally was also addressed by state representative of brick-kiln owners association Karnail Singh Bhambraa who supported the agitation launched by the CITU for control rate of sand and said that the brick-kiln industry would get ruined if the rates of sand were not controlled.

 

After the rally, the workers took out a militant procession through the city thoroughfares and gave a memorandum to the deputy commissioner of Ludhiana.