People's Democracy

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


No. 19

May 12, 2013




Pledge to Rebuff Anti-Worker Policies


Abdul Rashid Najar


THE Jammu & Kashmir state unit of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) held its fourth state conference in Srinagar on May 1-2. Taking place in the background of an unprecedented May Day rally, the conference pledged to intensify struggles to rebuff the anti-working class and anti-people policies of the government.

On the first day of the conference, the workers gathered at the TRC Ground in Srinagar and later took a protest procession carrying banners, placards and shouting slogans demanding concrete measures for curbs on price rise, creation of employment, strict enforcement of all labour laws, social security for toilers, amendment of Minimum Wages Act and fixation of statutory minimum wage at not less than Rs 10,000 per month, assured pension for all etc. They also shouted slogans in support of the demands of ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers and helpers, casual labourers in different departments and daily wagers, besides sections of workers belonging to unorganised sectors.


The conference started with flag hoisting ceremony by CITU state president M Y Tarigami. CITU secretary K Hemalata inaugurated the conference and A G Hafiz presented the welcome address. A total of 250 delegates representing different unions participated in the conference.


Inaugurating the conference, K Hemalata expressed gratitude to the leadership of fraternal trade unions present in the conference for their solidarity, and pledged to work together to strengthen the unprecedented unity achieved by the trade union movement through joint struggles, for wider united initiatives. She called upon the delegates to build resistance through broader class mobilisation and in alliance with other mass organisations and democratic sections in view of the mounting attacks on the life and livelihood of the working people.


Tarigami too underlined the necessity for wider unity among the working people for resisting the anti-working class policies. He said there was no room for any illusion, and only united struggles of toilers could force the government and employers to concede the genuine demands of the working people. He then raised some buring issues and the growing discontent among the masses. The present situation demands that the working class must champion the vital interests of all the toiling sections of society, so that it can play a leading role in the struggles to oppose the policies of the government, Tarigami stressed.


Om Prakash presented the general secretary’s report which the delegates thoroughly discussed, making certain useful suggestions about enriching this report. The report was adopted unanimously.


The important resolutions the conference adopted included those on trade union rights, working women, food security, price rise, unemployment and against privatisation of the Centaur Hotel of Srinagar.


The conference elected a working committee of 41 members, with three vacant places for cooption later. The state secretariat has Mohd Yousuf Tarigami as state president, Abdul Gani Bhat and Suneeta Baghat as vice presidents, Om Prakash as general secretary, Abdul Rashid Najar and Jagdish Raj Sharma as secretaries, and Sham Prasad Kesar as treasurer.




On May 1, 2013, thousands of activists of Anganwadi workers and helpers, ASHA workers, PDD daily wagers, non-gazetted horticulture employees, construction workers, agriculture daily wagers, casual workers, those from the Kishan Ganga power project, SKICC employees, Aircel land oustees, security guards, J&K medical & sales representatives and others from each district of the valley gathered in the Sher-e-Kashmir Park of Srinagar to observe May Day under the banner of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). 


The activists first took a protest demonstration from the TRC Ground carrying banners and placards, and shouting slogans in favour of their demands. CITU state president Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami addressed the subsequent rally, saying that “the woes of labourers, who are engineers of economic prosperity, are on the increase.” He said the International Labour Day drew its strength from the memory of the Chicago martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the struggle to regulate the working hours and to create conducive working conditions for toiling masses. The May Day is the only commemoration that is celebrated across the world, cutting across national frontiers, ethnic, racial, creed, caste, colour divisions and religious prejudices to uphold the unity of the class struggle, he stated.


Underlining the necessity for wider unity among the working people, Tarigami said that there is no room for any illusion, and only united struggles of the toilers can force the government and employers to concede the working people's genuine demands.


While extending warmest revolutionary greetings to the entire fraternity of the working class and other toiling people of the country, K Hemlata, president of All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers & Helpers and CITU secretary, emphasised the need to reverse the policies that benefited only 0.01 per cent while imposing more and more burdens on the 99.9 per cent of the people.


She drew attention to the struggles of the working class all over the world against the growing attacks on their working and living conditions imposed by the neo-liberal policies and the austerity drives of their respective governments. Warning against the dangers of the divisive forces, who seek to divide the working class on caste, religion, regional lines; she stressed the importance of the trade union movement in addressing the specific issues of  socially oppressed sections of society in its efforts to unify the entire working mass.


Other trade union leaders who addressed the rally included Sham Prasad Kesar, Om Prakash, Abdul Rashid Najar, Abdul Gani Bhat, Jameela Sabiri and Suneeta Bhagat. The speakers observed that the subsidies on food, fuel and fertilisers meant for the common man are being targeted in order to bring them down to a mere 1.75 per cent of GDP while five per cent of GDP has been provided for tax defaulters and moneybags.