Chennai: Condemning the Narendra Modi government’s move on codification of labour laws – from 44 laws to just four – the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) national conference here called upon workers to escalate struggles throughout the country, combining it with the countrywide fight to protect the Constitution and the citizenship rights enshrined therein.
At the conclusion of the five-day conference, K Hemalatha, president of the CITU said: "The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is attacking the Constitution of India and waging a war on the working class people of the country. We have to take the fight forward in defending the Constitution as well as protecting the hard-earned rights of the working people. Without combining these two struggles, we won't be able to stop the onslaught of the BJP government.”
The CITU president said the trade union would also take forward these two struggles along with protecting public sector undertakings (PSUs), including the Railways, defence manufacturing units and others.
The decision of Narendra Modi-led BJP government 2.0 to codify the labour laws from 44 to just four was criticised by over 2,000 delegates in the conference as a step towards snatching away the basic rights of the workers.
These decisions were taken in the 16th national conference of CITU, which concluded on Monday in Chennai. The conference also resolved to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The conference also decided to push for the demands of the increasing number of working women in the country and announced a nationwide ‘jail bharo’ (fill the jails) on March 6 in connection with the International Women's Day on March 8.
‘DRIVE OUT DIVISIVE FORCES’
Addressing public meeting after the conclusion of the conference, Tapan Sen, CITU general secretary, called upon workers to “teach the government a fitting lesson, as they have done before.”
"The BJP government has put the country under sale. We should stop these barbaric actions with strong resistance. The workers of the Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited and Salem Steel Plant have driven away the Jindal group who tried to bid for shares. They (BJP) captured power by speaking loudly about patriotism and has started selling the nation's wealth for the benefit of few corporates," he said.
Sen also urged workers to unite without falling for “divisive policies of the ruling class, as directed by the inhuman policies of capitalists.”
“The BJP government is trying to create instability so that the multinationals and Indian corporates can have a free run. In an unstable society, the working class will not have a chance to enjoy their legitimate rights. We have to fight vigorously without any compromise to drive out such divisive forces from power and from the country," he said.
‘UNITE AS WORKERS’
In his address at the public meeting, Michael Makwayiba, president of World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), called upon the working people of India to unite to win their rights.
"Injury for one is injury for all is a famous saying in South Africa. This is said to reflect the unity of the working class. In spite of the difference between people in religion, colour, race and language, they remain workers exploited by the employers and this single point of connection is enough to unite to fight for the rights", he said.
Referring to the rise of governments across the world supported by the capitalist forces Makwayiba said: “No government across the world comes to power without the support of the working people, yet workers continue to be exploited by the government they elected. They have failed to understand that working class parties, such as the communist parties, alone can fight in their favour".