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Haryana: Workers' Rally Warns Govt to Not Ignore Demand for Minimum Wage Revision, Secure Jobs

The Lalkar Rally announced a Mahapadav in Chandigarh from November 26-28 in which thousands of workers from the state will participate.

Thousands of labourers from across the state gathered at Huda Ground in Karnal district of Haryana for the Lalkar Rally on Sunday.

This rally was organised by the Haryana State Committee of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and Khet Mazdoor Union. 

In the rally, the labour leaders warned the government that workers have a decisive role in the development of the state, but instead of listening to the voice of the workers, the government was bent on crushing them. 

The Mazdoor Lalkar Rally reminded the government that the ones who ignore workers would lose power.

Many government employee unions supported the rally, besides various company labour unions, ASHA workers' unions, Safai Karmachari union, and Khet Mazdoor union. 

To mobilise for the rally, workers held meetings at the gates of their respective companies and at district and village levels. 

Thousands of labourers, project workers and temporary workers from the state participated in the rally. The rally was addressed by CITU national secretary AR Sindhu, state general secretary Jai Bhagwan, president Surekha, Khet Mazdoor Union national general secretary A Vijay Raghavan, state general secretary Prem Chand, and President Jagmal Singh.

Labour leaders said the BJP government had brought four labour codes to enslave the workers. 

They also said that the minimum wages should have been revised three years ago. 

"By not doing this, workers' labour is being looted, and capitalists are being benefited. Instead of resolving the demands of the striking ASHA workers in the state, repression is being carried out, which was also done against Anganwadi workers in the past," the leaders said.

Whether scheme workers or temporary employees of government departments, their demands and problems are constantly being ignored due to huge budget cuts in MGNREGA by the BJP government; neither work is being provided, nor wages are being paid for the work done. The board made for construction workers has been paralysed, due to which 17 lakh workers of the state are suffering the consequences, said the labour leaders.

"In the name of Family Identity Card, BPL ration cards of about 9 lakh 50 thousand families were cut in the state, most of which are labourers. This is a result of cuts in the food security budget. Be it organised or unorganised sector, migrant labourers who have a major contribution to the development of the state, the laws made for them have been abolished, and they are being deprived of all facilities. The urban and rural labour population is facing the problem of housing."

The CITU secretary, said in a written statement, accused the BJP government of “destroying the public and government sectors of the country and handing these over to big capitalists. 

"Instead of permanent recruitment, money is being looted in the name of a contract or Skill Development Corporation. The new education policy 2020 is a matter of displacing the majority population of the country from education," read the statement.

In the name of schemes like Ayushman Bhava, the government treasury was being looted by private hospitals, he alleged.

Labour leaders also said that the Electricity Bill 2023 was meant to benefit private companies and rob the common people of their hard-earned money, and would be opposed.

To hide its failure, the state government is thinking of coming to power by creating an atmosphere of communal and caste hatred among the public, the CITU leader said, adding that the people of Haryana had rejected this conspiracy in Nuh.

The statement also condemned the attack on democratic rights and independent media. “This government is looting the country's wealth for Adani-Ambani,” it added,

The rally was attended by Dharamveer Phogat, State President of All Employees Union, Balbir Singh, State President of Kisan Sabha, labour leaders Satveer Singh, Surendra Singh, Sukhbir Singh, Ramkumar Bahbalpuriya, Rajendra Chhokar, Satpal Saini, Jagpal Rana, union leaders Sunita, Saroj, Urmila Rawat, Deviram, Rammehar, Vijay, Kaliram, Sarpanch Association President Isham Singh, and Sarv Karmachari Sangh District President Sushil. 

All the speakers demanded that the state government immediately call a meeting on the demand letter of labourers, scheme workers and temporary employees and resolve their demands. 

It was decided in the Lalkar Rally that there will be a Mahapadav in Chandigarh from November 26-28 in which thousands of workers from the state will participate. The striking ASHA workers will stage a 24-hour camp at the ministers' doorsteps on October 18. They will participate in the national demonstration in Delhi on October 30. Rural sanitation workers will go on a three-day strike from October 10. The rally passed a resolution supporting the striking ASHA workers and demanded that the state government immediately settle the workers' demands. A resolution was passed against the attack on media and editors and journalists of NewsClick.

The main demands of the rally are as follows:

1. The minimum wage in the state should be revised to Rs 26,000 monthly.

2. Scheme, temporary, and contract workers should be made permanent.

3. Anti-worker labour codes should be cancelled, and the contract system should be abolished.

4. 200 days of work annually and Rs 600/day wage should be implemented in MGNREGA.

5. All labourers should be registered with the Construction Labourers Board, and all facilities should be paid on time.

6. There should be a guarantee of 100-yard plots for housing and a grant to construct houses for rural and urban labourers.

7. A monthly pension of Rs 10,000 should be implemented for labourers and farmers after 60 years of subsistence.

8. Everyone should be provided with better education and health facilities.

9. Permanent recruitment should be done on vacant posts in the government departments of the state.

10. Loans of all labourers and poor farmers of Haryana should be waived.

11. By making BPL cards for all the needy, all the essential commodities should be given cheaply.

12. There should be a guarantee of purchase of all crops at MSP.

13. The various movements going on in Haryana for a long time should be resolved immediately through talks.

14. A separate law should be made for the social education of farm labourers.

15. Attacks on public facilities in the name of family identity cards should stop.

16. Electricity Bill 2023 should be cancelled.

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