People's Democracy

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


No. 14

April 07, 2013


CITU Conference Opens amid High Enthusiasm


N S Sajith


ON April 4, the 14th all-India conference of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the most militant trade union organisation of the country, made a colourful start at the Police Ground in Kannur, which has been rechristened as Dr M K Pandhe Nagar. One notes that Kannur has been a cradle of workers’ and peasants’ struggle, and the holding of the CITU conference here amounts to sending a stern message of struggle against the neo-liberal policies of the central government. The presence of a galaxy of leaders from various central trade union organisations as well as social and political movements at the inaugural session also amounted to a strong and significant warning that struggles are in the offing on a joint platform of Indian workers.


CITU president A K Padmanabhan inaugurated the conference in an impressive opening session. Prior to it, Padmanabhan hoisted the red flag on a pole erected on a special platform in front of Dr M K Pandhe Nagar at 10 a m, in presence of CITU general secretary Tapan Sen and other leaders. The delegates then paid floral tributes at the martyrs column.


The venue turned to be a mini India as slogans in different Indian languages rose with heightened fervour and passion. The flag was brought from Payyambalam beach where the bodies of trade union stalwarts C Kannan, Chadayan Govindan and E K Nayanar were cremated.


CITU state secretary T P Ramakrishnan handed the flag over to vice president A K Balan. He, along with hundreds of athletes and CITU workers, then brought the flag to M K Pandhe Nagar. The conference is to take place in a special hall with the stage rechristened as Dipankar Mukharjee Manch.


After the inaugural session, AITUC general secretary Gurudas Das Gupta, INTUC vice president R Chandrashekharan, BMS organising secretary Dorai Raj, UTUC general secretary Abani Roy, International Labour Organisation’s representative Aerial Castro, World Federation of Trade Unions’ representative Alexandra Lymberi, LPF general secretary M Shanmugham, TUCC general secretary S P Tiwari and SEWA secretary Sonia George addressed the gathering. CITU general secretary Tapan Sen greeted each of these leaders with a shawl.


The delegates session of the conference passed a resolution stressing on the relevance of trade union unity. The resolution was moved by Tapan Sen and seconded by Swadesh Debroy. After the inaugural session, Tapan Sen presented the general secretary’s report.


CITU state president Elamaram Kareem, state general secretary Anathalavattom Anandan, all-India office bearers and various state leaders were also present on the stage. Reception committee chairman Kodiyeri Balakrishnan offered welcome to all delegates and guests.


Apart from all-India office bearers of the CITU, CPI(M) state secretary Pinrayi Vijayan, Central Committee members P Karunakaran, P K Sreemathi, E P Jayrarajan and K K Shailaja, CPI(M) Kannur district secretary P Jayrajan, AITUC leader Kanam Rajendran and UTUC leader Illikkal Augusty were also present in the session.