(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 02, 2014
CITU Union Stages
Five-Day Dharna in
24, the Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union staged a
five-day dharna in
front of the district commissionerís office at
The other burning issues which the protestors raised were about implementation of the minimum wages, ensured implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), punishment to those responsible for lapses regarding unused money to the extent of Rs 67 crore that was earmarked for the MNREGA programme, withdrawal of the administered increase in the cost of LPG cylinders which cumulates to Rs 900 crore, etc.
The response was immense. Even a large section of brick kiln owners, truck operators and traders supported the protest action physically and morally, and this added to the CITUís prestige as a champion of struggles. In fact, the action highlighted the discontentment prevailing among the working people in the state.
Over the said five days, about five thousand workers and other people participated in the dharna, demonstration and rallies. About 1,000 people remained round the clock on the spot of the protest action where a langar (community kitchen) provided food three times a day. The ration was provided through mass collection of items from various villages, while 500 volunteers, specially the mid-day meal women workers, took turns to cook the food.
All the activists of the Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union and other unions, along with the district CITU leaders, remained active for the success of this 120 hours continuous protest action, despite heavy rain and cold weather.
vice president of the CITU state committee, inaugurated the
protest on the first
day whereas state general secretary Raghunath Singh was the
main speaker on the
concluding day i.e. on January 24. In his concluding address
congratulated the district committee of the CITU and
leadership of the Lal
Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union for organising this five
day long dharna in
commissioner of district
17, a big rally was organised at Raikot, at the call of the
Over two thousand workers from the CITU affiliated unions took part in the rally which was addressed by Jatinder Pal Singh (district president CITU), Tarsem Jodhan (general secretary, Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union), Mrs Subhash Rani (president) and Mrs Surjeet Kaur (general secretary, Anganwari Mulajam Union Punjab), Amarnath Koomkalan (general secretary, Lal Jhanda FCI Workers and Palledars Union), Daljeet Kumar Gora (vice president, district CITU), Hanuman Parsad Dubey (joint secretary, district CITU), Parkash Singh Hissowal (leader of the MGNREGA workers), Parkash Singh Vermi (district president, AIAWU), Mukhtiar Singh (local leader of Punjab Kisan Sabha), Santokh Singh (tehsil secretary of the CPI(M) in Raikot), by local CITU leaders like Rulda Singh Ramesh Kumar, Chamkaur Singh Noorpur, Sukhchain Singh Harnaik Singh, Rajwant Singh, and by Amarjeet Kaur (local leader of Anganwari Mulajam Union Punjab).
The speakers demanded stop to blackmarketing of sand and gravel, implementation of labour laws, regularisation of the services of scheme workers and their coverage under the Minimum Wages Act 1948), ensured social security for them, implementation of the notification regarding revision in the minimum wages (which was issued by the principal labour secretary R C Nayyar on November 15, 2012) with retrospective effect, and abolition of the illegal contract labour system from all government and semi-government departments as well as from industrial units in both public and private sectors. The rally also demanded appointment of regular employees to all regular posts which have been lying vacant for years together, withdrawal of false police cases registered against CITU activists and those of other trade unions, implementation of the MGNREGA in letter and spirit, ensuring that the wages to the MGNREGA workers are at par with those of agriculture workers in Punjab, and ensured unemployment allowance for the MGNREGA workers if work is not provided to them on demand.
resolution the rally supported the peopleís agitation against
the property tax
and various other corruption cases and against the
highhandedness of the Akali-BJP