People's Democracy

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


No. 18

May 05, 2013






Brick-Kiln Workers Hold Victory Rally


AT the call of the Lal Jhanda Bhatha Mazdoor Union, about 20,000 brick-kiln workers and those of all the 220 bhathas in Punjab recently went on strike in support of their demand for increase in their wage rates. The strike was 100 per cent successful in district Sangrur.


Under the pressure of the successful strike, the association of brick-kiln owners in district Sangrur felt compelled to start negotiations with the representatives of the Lal Jhanda Bhatha Mazdoor Union, in the presence of the deputy commissioner and the assistant labour commissioner of Sangrur. After prolonged discussions on the demand charter submitted by the district unit of the Lal Jhanda Bhatha Mazdoor Union, the brick-kiln owners agreed to enhance the rates of wages of brick-kiln workers in the district.


As per the settlement, the rate of wages for moulding the bricks was enhanced from Rs 530 to 585 per 1000 bricks with effect from March 1, 2013. As for the other categories, the brick-kiln owners agreed to give 22 per cent increase over and above the minimum wages fixed by the Punjab government.


After the agreement, workers held a massive rally in front of the DC office. It was addressed by state CITU vice president Chander Shekhar, general secretary Raghunath Singh, and by Tarsem Jodhan, general secretary of the Lal Jhanda Bhatha Mazdoor Union. The speakers congratulated the workers, assuring them that the CITU would continue its struggle for implementation of the Factory Act 1948 and would also mobilise the toiling masses against the record beating price rise, unemployment and corruption. Later on, the workers took out a procession through the Sangrur city.




Through a statement issued from Chandigarh on April 29, Charan Singh Virdi, secretary of the Punjab state committee of CPI(M), said all the patriotic people standing for communal harmony are shocked to know that the memorial Gurdwara constructed in Darbar Sahib complex at Amritsar bears a stone plaque with an engraving which reads as follows: “Memorial in the memory of 14th head of Damdami Taksal Martyr Saint Giani Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale and all martyrs of 1984.”


The CPI(M) is also of the opinion that all the peace loving and patriotic people of Punjab feel that this unfortunate happening is not only a breach of promises and trust on the part of the Shiromani Akali Dal and SGPC leadership but is also likely to disturb the state of communal harmony and peace in the state.


The CPI(M) said the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal, who are patron and president of the Akali Dal respectively, and also the SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar owe an explanation to the people. They must also take prompt steps to remedy and repair the worrisome situation, the CPI(M) demanded, while appealing to the people that they must maintain peace and communal harmony at all cost.