(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 03, 2013
Contract Workers Plan Long March
P R Krishnan
A CONVENTION of contract workers, held in Raigad district in Maharashtra on October 26, 2013, has decided to organise a Long March in the state in January next year. The long march is meant to popularise the 11 point charter of demands adopted by the said convention.
PLAN IN STATE
Held in the
Purpose Hall of the
delegates who attended the convention came to 522, and
significantly a large
number of the delegates were women.. They had come from
centres spread over 11 districts, viz Mumbai, Nashik,
The long march will take place after holding demonstrations at all the districts headquarters in the state on December 1, 2013. The long march will commence from all the districts in January 2014 and will culminate in a mass rally near the Martyrs Memorial (Hutatma Chauk) at Flora Fountain in Mumbai on January 15.
The proceedings of the convention began with flag hoisting by K L Bajaj and floral tributes to martyrs. Madhusudan Mhatre, CITU district leader, started the proceedings. Bhooshan Patil, CITU state secretary, made the introductory remarks and explained the agenda before the convention.
convention, Tapan Sen explained the various stages of the
agitations conducted by the working class from the early
nineties against the
globalisation, liberalisation, contractisation and
casualisation policies of
the government. In this regard, Sen particularly mentioned the
industrial strikes of February 2012 and February 2013,
organised unitedly by
all the central trade union organisations including the INTUC
and the BMS. Sen also
took note of the fact that trade union organisations in
before the convention was a resolution moved by the CITUís
The resolution also pointed out that no recruitments has been taking place over the last several years even in schools and colleges, in the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), municipalities, zilla parishads, municipal corporations and in various public sector industries. This is despite a large number of posts lying vacant in these service sector establishments. Not only this, even in the organised sector industries as well as multinational companies a large number of contract workers are employed and they are required to do works of a permanent nature. The principle of same wage for equal work is denied to the contract workers. Equal Remuneration Act as well as Rule 47 of Contract Act for same wage for similar work is also not being applied. The enforcement machineries of the state and central governments are in fact helping the employers instead of taking actions against them for violation of labour laws. This has to be stopped, stressed the resolution.
The resolution, at the same time, noted that wherever the contract workers are organised --- as in the RCF, BARC, JNPT, CEAT Tyre and Asian Paints etc --- they could gain substantial benefits and higher wages. This was possible because the contract workers in these establishments are organised under the banner of the CITU.
In his presidential address, K L Bajaj said that history is a testimony to the fact that the downtrodden remain exploited unless struggles take place. He described the conference as a signal to the governments that the slavery like contract work system is not going to be tolerated and that the CITU would continue its struggle against this evil system.
Of the delegates, 16 spoke on the resolution.
State CITU leaders also addressed the delegates. Among them were Udhav Bhavalkar (Aurangabad), Vasant Pawar (Pune), Amrut Meshram (Nagpur), Armaity Irani and P R Krishnan (Mumbai).
Before the commencement of the delegates session in the Township Hall, Tapan Sen addressed a separate meeting of the workmen of Dubai Port World who are facing an illegal lockout from October 13. This lockout has affected 300 workers who are employed by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to handle different operations in its dock and port establishment. The management imposed this lockout when the workers demanded payment of wages and other service conditions as per an earlier settlement in that regard. Tapan Sen congratulated these workers and extended the CITUís full support to their struggle.
Madhusudan Mhatre proposed the vote of thanks.