People's Democracy

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


No. 41

October 13, 2013







TUs Organise Ten Thousand Strong Rally


P R Krishnan


VARIOUS central and state level unions in Maharashtra jointly organised on September 25, 2013 a 10,000 strong rally in Mumbai to press for implementation of the 10 point demands of the working class. This rally was in response to the declaration of the joint convention of central trade union organisations held in Delhi on August 6 and in preparation of the proposed march to parliament on the coming December 12.


For the rally that was held in Azad Maidan in south Mumbai, workers from the unorganised as well as organised sector came from different districts of the state. An overwhelming majority of them journeyed from mofussil towns in trains. Many came in trucks while Mumbaikars joined the rally in processions from different localities. The protesters included a large number of women from the beedi industry. Construction sector workers took part in large numbers. Contract workers and domestic workers also came in big groups. Bank employees, insurance employees and industrial workers were in substantial numbers. State and central government employees, railway employees, seamen, dock and port workers too came in equally good strength. Participation of school, college and university teachers was remarkable.


The anger among the demonstrating employees was strong because, despite as many as 16 all-India strikes so far, the Congress led UPA government has not bothered to accept any of the demands jointly submitted by the central trade union organisations in 2009. Among the 16 all-India industrial strikes, the most important ones were that of 2012 and the two days national strike on February 20 and 21 this year. It may also be noted that even after the central trade unions jointly submitted their demands to the prime minister on May 13, 2013, the government did not take any steps towards implementation of the demands. It is a matter of extreme concern and is nothing but a manifestation of the anti-working class attitude of the government.


It may here be noted that prior to the centralised rally in Azad Maidan on September 25, trade unions in Maharashtra held district-wise meetings and conventions to popularise the 10 points demands and to mobilise the workers for the joint rally. The CITU played a leading role in organising all such meetings. Consequently the participation of CITU affiliated unions in the said rally was the highest. As a matter of fact, most of the CITU affiliated union workers reached Mumbai early on September 25 morning for the rally.


It was thus that the CITU had to hold a huge rally of 8000 workers independently in the afternoon on the day. They were addressed by CITU Maharashtra general secretary Dr D L Karad, vice president K L Bajaj and other leaders of the CITU such as M A Shaikh, Datta Mane, Vijay Gabhne, Shubha Shamim, Sitaram Thombare, Fatima Baig, Manik Avaghade, Mahendra Singh, Sayeed Ahemad, Armaity Irani, and also by AITUC leader Shravan Sinde.


Thereafter the CITU workers participated in the joint rally held at 4 p m in the same Maidan. This massive rally took place under the auspices of the Trade Unions Joint Action Committee. This committee comprises the CITU, AITUC, HMS, BMS, INTUC, and the organisations state and central government employees, New Trade Union Initiative, organisation of college and university teachers and several other organisations. The joint rally was addressed by Dr D L Karad, and Vivek Montero (CITU), R G Karnik (state government employees), Sukumar Damale and A D Golandaj (AITUC), Suryakant Bagal (HMS), Saji Narayan and Prabhakar Bansode (BMS), P R Menon and Y G Joshi (NRMU), Smt Jyoti Gandhi (Shikshak Sanghtana), Mohan Sharma (MSEB), Dr Kishor Theckedath (BUCTU), Ravi Joshi (IFTU), Abraham Mathew (Kamgar Ekta Sanghtana), M A Patil (NTUE) and R P Singh (central government employees). All the speakers, in their speeches, pledged to make the December 12 march to parliament a big success by mobilising a big contingent from Maharashtra.