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JOINT CALL TO THE WORKING CLASS - MAKE THE 20-21 FEBRUARY 2013 STRIKE A SUCCESS - FIGHT THE PRO-IMPERIALIST ECONOMIC POLICIES OF THE UPA GOVERNMENT

Joint call issued by the IFTU, TUCI, NTUI and other unions about the all India General Strike on 20th and 21st February 2013

 

1. That the UPAII government at the Centre is pursuing policies in favour of the big corporate houses in the country and imperialist capital is clear as it has once more prised open the retail sector to foreign direct investment, despite opposition to it. The Prime Minister‘s statement that the reforms process will go on indicates the resolve to enforce policies that benefit foreign capital. Equally true is the fact that the UPAI and NDA governments had followed the same pro-imperialist policies earlier as well.

2. The experience in the last twenty-one years has amply demonstrated the ill and adverse effects of the pro-imperialist economic policies of the ruling classes of the country. These policies have led to a crisis situation in the agrarian sector with the result that many farmers have ended their lives. In the industrial and service sectors of the economy the structure of employment has undergone drastic changes with increasing contractualisation and casualisation of the labour force. So-called temporary labour outrnumbers the regular labour in both the public and private sectors. In addition an overwhelming majority of working people in the unorganised sector have either no legal rights or cannot access such rights. Faced with brutality of social oppression and state coercion, these working people remain super-exploited and face faster errosion of their real wages and inhuman and unsafe working conditions. It should be noted that such an employment structure enables the owners to depress wages and is a strategy to dis-organise workers. Outsourcing is another feature that has emerged as a key strategy under the new economic policies for securing reduction in costs of labour. Wage-cuts, DA-freeze, retrenchments, closures and lay-offs have increased during this period. The social security structure is being subtly dismantled and the right to unionise and collective bargaining has been under severe attack as in the case of Maruti Suzuki and many other units.

3. Liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation were hailed by the rulers as paths to the economic development of the country and growth rates were the index of this development. Needless to say, this growth was fueled primarily by inflows of foreign capital and that too speculative capital, resulting in the creation of bubbles in the share markets. This illusion collapsed with the onset of global economic crisis of 2008 which opened up the structural contradiction of imperialist capitalism along with massive debt burden resulting from the financialisation of the global economy. The global crisis is not showing signs of receding and has lead to intesified class struggle pitting captalist offensive against people organising resistance in various ways – direct action, occupation, democratic assertion. The Indian economy is so closely linked to imperialism, particularly US imperialism, that when the bubble in the US burst the Indian economy was also affected, it faced a downturn and massive job losses, particularly in the export-led industries.

4. Imperialist countries have been trying to salvage their economies from the devastating crisis that has enveloped them. A part of their strategy of recovery is to gain access to natural resources and minerals in developing countries such as ours. This has been facilitated by the reform policies enforced by our governments which has done all it can to ensure corporate and multinational control over commons, natural resources and minerals even at the cost of large-scale displacement of the peasants and adivasis from their historical lands.

5. In the face of ever growing job-losses, wage cuts, reduction of other benefits and attacks on trade union rights – workers have not taken these attacks lying down. They have put up stiff resistance such as in the case of Honda, Graziano and Maruti Suzuki. The adivasis and peasants have also fought for the protection of their land and in fact their militant struggles assume immense importance in the struggle against the pro-imperialist economic policies of the rulers.

6. In this situation it is imperative that all workers unite to strike on 20-21 February 2013 in keeping with the call given by certain central TUs. All sections of workers must rise up unitedly to resist the continuing onslaught of the ruling classes. The necessity of such unity is felt even by trade union centres associated with ruling parties as is evident from the \joint calls issued by them. ,

To defeat the Government policies, a sustained struggle will have to be built against the neo-liberal policies of imperialist globalisation. Many Central Trade Unions are still associated with parties that are implementing these policies. The trade union movement will have to fight not only for immediate economic demands but also against these policies. We, therefore, give the call to all unions struggling against imperialist globalisation to come together to take build a militant and united movement to take the working people’s struggle ahead.

The emergence of unity at the national level – under immense working class pressure and rising discontent – gives space for building such unity on the groundlevel for united and militant struggle. This mood has to be forged into unity for struggle and resistance at the local level. We have to initiate joint actions to unite wider sections of the working class, deepen the understanding of class struggle under imperialist globalisation, demonstrate militancy in joint programs and sustain the momentum of this general strike.

WE DEMAND:

1. CONCRETE MEASURES TO CONTAIN PRICE RISE, ENSURE UNIVERSAL FOOD SECURITY WITH 50KG CEREALS PER FAMILY ALONG WITH PULSES AND COOKING OIL.

2. CONCRETE MEASURES FOR EMPLOYMENT GENERATION.

3. STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF LABOUR LAWS AND IMMEDIATE ACTION AGAINST NON-COMPLIANT MANAGEMENTS.

4. UNIVERSAL SOCIAL SECURITY FOR ALL WORKERS IN THE UNORGANISED AND ORGANISED SECTORS

5. STOP PRIVATISATION AND DISINVESTMENTS IN PSUs.

6. STOP EMPLOYMENT OF CONTRACT LABOUR IN ALL JOBS OF A PERMANENT NATURE. ENSURE PAYMENT OF WAGES TO CONTRACT WORKERS AT PAR WITH REGULAR WORKERS

7. ENSURE A MINIMUM WAGE NOT LESS THAN THAT COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE FORMULA PUT FORWARD AT THE 15th SESSION OF THE INDIAN LABOUR CONFERENCE IN 1957.

8. REMOVE CEILINGS ON PAYMENT AND ELIGIBILITY OF BONUS AND RETAIN RATE OF INTEREST ON PROVIDENT FUND ATLEAST AT 12%.

9. ASSURE PENSION FOR ALL AT A RATE NOT LESS THAN THE MINIMUM WAGE.

10. COMPULSORY REGISTRATION OF TRADE UNIONS WITHIN 45 DAYS.

11. ENSURE EQUAL WAGE FOR SIMILAR WORK FOR ALL WORKERS INCLUDING WOMEN WORKERS.

12. ENSURE SECURITY AND PROTECTION OF WOMEN WORKERS ESPECIALLY THOSE REQUIRED TO WORK LATE.

13. STOP ENCROACHMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF PEASANTRY, ADIVASIS AND DALITS AND WANTON DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT.

14. ESTABLISH SUBSTANTIAL EQUALITY – STOP ALL DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ADIVASIS, DALITS, WOMEN AND MINORITIES.

 

UNITE TO STRIKE ON 20-21 FEBRUARY 2013

FORGE THE UNITY OF THE WORKING CLASS

BUILD RESISTANCE AGAINST IMPERIALIST GLOBALISATION

 

B Pradeep, General Secretary, Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU)

Sanjay Singhvi, General Secretary, Trade Union Centre of India

Ashim Roy, General Secretary,New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)

Vithal Raj, General Secretary, All India Federation of Trade Unions (AIFTU)

Arvind Sinha,General Secretary, All India Federation Of Trade unions(New)

Venkat Reddy, General Secretary, All India Centre of Trde Unions (AICTU)

Raju, General Secretary, Pragatisheel Karmika Samakhy

Bacha Singh, General Secretary, Mazdoor Sangathan Samiti

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