People's Democracy

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


No. 04

January 26, 2014


Workers Agitate All Over Haryana


ON January 12, 2014, workers and helpers of the child rearing centres as well as tailoring teachers from all over Haryana staged a militant demonstration in Rohtak city and sent a memorandum to the chief minister, B S Hooda, about their grievances.


Under the banner of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the demonstrators assembled in the local Mansarovar Park in the morning; here a meeting was held with Ms Somwati Hooda presiding. Addressing the meeting, state CITU president Jai Bhagwan and Sarva Karmachari Sangh’s state vice president Savita said the state chief minister and his wife, Mrs Asha Hooda, are vice presidents of the Haryana State Child Welfare Council which started in 1968, but its workers and helpers, about 500 in number, are still getting only Rs 1,200 and Rs 800, respectively, which is a pitiable pittance. This is nothing but exploitation of these women’s labour power, and the state government seems to be callous towards the plight of these women. The speakers demanded that the state government and the Child Welfare Council must immediately concede the demonstrators’ demands.


Leaders of the concerned union like Somwati, Kaushalya, Rajkaur, Manoj, Reshma, Puja and Balesh Sharma said they had been working for the last 30 years or so, and their working time is 9 a m to 5 p m but yet they are not treated like regular employees. Can one look after a family in such a small income, they asked. This low wage too remains unpaid for as much as eight months. There are 25 children in one single creche, and the daily allowance for them is just 52 rupees. The question is: Can a child be sustained in just Rs 2.05 a day? Teachers working in the tailoring centres have the same miserable plight.


The meeting decided that all the workers would energetically take part in the padav to be organised at the deputy commissioner offices in all districts on January 29 and 30.


The protestors then took out a procession to the Mini Secretariat, where a memorandum was despatched to the chief minister. It demanded, among other things, that all the workers and helpers must be declared to be Class III employees and given the corresponding salaries along with all the facilities. Till then, they must be given the minimum wage. If necessary, the child rearing centres must be merged with the Anganwadi centres and their workers and helpers must get the honoraria equivalent to what the Anganwadi workers and helpers are getting. All the workers and helpers must be given social security including pension and insurance. They must also be given maternity leave for six months with full pay, identity cards and two uniforms a year. A worker and a helper must be given Rs two lakh and Rs one lakh respectively at the time of retirement. The daily allowance for the creche children must be raised from Rs 2.05 to at least Rs 10 per head. The demonstrators also demanded regularisation of the BGMS crafts teachers and the maids looking after the creche children.




THE mid-day meals workers of Haryana staged protest demonstrations in front of the district education offices all over the state on January 10, 2014, to press for implementation of the increase announced in their wages and to get their pending wages released. The call was given by a state level convention of the Mid-Day Meal Workers Union, in which more than a hundred workers from various districts had participated.


The convention made the categorical remark that the wage increase announced was no largesse from the government but a result of the workers’ struggles. It demanded that the government must implement its own announcement at the earliest. The convention had also reiterated the old demand that these workers must be declared to be permanent workers and given corresponding salaries, till which time they must get the minimum wage. But the government has not acceded to this demand to this day. While the Congress government of Haryana is taking the workers to the brink of starvation and destitution through its neo-liberal policies, the opposition BJP has been siding with the government on these issues. That is why the union leaders are very categorical that workers will have to all the more vigorously fight for alternative policies in the days to come.


As per a decision of the convention, mid-day meal workers staged vigorous demonstrations in all the districts of Haryana on January 21, the first day of the three-day statewide strike of all employees and workers on January 21-23. Thousands of mid-day meal workers joined these demonstrations on the day.


The union’s state president Saroj Dujana and general secretary Jai Bhagwan have pointed out that mid-day meal workers in most of the districts of Haryana have not been paid their wage, which is a paltry Rs 1,150 a month in any case, for six to nine months. How these will workers survive, the union leaders asked. District and state level officials are not a bit serious about this matter, despite a number of protest actions. That is why the union has decided to hold a padav at the deputy commissioner’s office in every district on January 29 and 30, on the issue of job regularisation, minimum wage, social security and paid maternity leave for six months. Another demand is that the workers who have been removed from service must be immediately reinstated.