IFTU, Labour Laws, Trade Union


On the 11th of September 2014, the National Committee of the IFTU organized an all India Convention in Delhi against the proposed anti worker changes in labour laws. Over three hundred elegates from Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh attended the Convention at Ambedkar Bhawan in Delhi. Other Trade Union Centres whose leaders attended the Convention were AICCTU, NTUI, TUCI and AIFTU.
Despite the pouring rain and the consequent delay in arrival of trains, the Convention started off in a packed hall at 12 noon. Com. Aparna (NCM, Delhi) began the proceedings by highlighting the labour law changes being pushed by the Modi Govt. and that the Amendments to the Apprentice Act have already been passed by the Lok Sabha. Meanwhile significant changes in Labour laws have already been passed by the Rajasthan Assembly and are awaiting Presidential consent. She then invited the Presidium and the speakers onto the dias.
A three member Presidium of Com. D.V. Krishna (President IFTU), Com. Kulvinder (NCM Punjab) and Com. P. Prasad (Secretary IFTU from Andhra Pradesh) presided over the Convention and Com. Kulvinder conducted the proceedings. He detailed some of the proposed changes in the labour laws and then began the process of inviting the various speakers to address the Convention.
General Secretary of IFTU National Committee, Com. B. Pradeep was the first speaker. He explained the various changes being proposed by the Modi Govt. and those passed by the Rajasthan Assembly. He said this was part of the attempt to push through labour ’flexibility’ and had long been the urging not only of the corporate but also of the World Bank. He pointed out that the push to keep temporary workers had been on over the last 25 years with increasing contractualization of jobs but these changes in labour laws will do away with the rights of the workers.
The next speaker was Com. Sanjay Singhvi of the TUCI. He condemned the proposed changes saying that it would put a large number of workers outside the pale of labour laws. General Secretary of AICCTU, Com. Swapan Mukherjee said his organization supported the initiative taken by IFTU on this issue. He said that the Labour Law changes being brought by the Modi Govt. were actually the pending agenda of the previous UPA Govt. He said that the changes in the Apprentice Act were extremely dangerous especially as this section was merely entitled to a stipend . NTUI President, Com. Vasudevan, said that workers across the country have started to raise their voices against the anti worker attacks on labour laws by the Modi Govt. He termed the IFTU initiative for a united fight back as praiseworthy and stressed the need to unitedly fight back the proposed changes. Com Vithal Raj (Gen. Sec AIFTU ) described how the labour laws are not applicable in the SEZ areas. Com. Ashim Roy from NTUI said that the proposed changes were Modi Govt.’s well planned design against the working class. The consequences would be catastrophic. Com. Sujan (IFTU NCM from Bengal) also addressed the Convention and condemned the proposed changes.
Com. D.V.Krishna (President, IFTU) said that the ruling classes have been continually attacking the rights of the working class. He said that the contradiction between labour and capital is deepening. He said the proposed changes in labour laws will also lead to massive unemployment and called for struggle against the same. Com. V.K. Patole (Secretary, IFTU) said that all efforts must be there to build a broad based movement and for this there must be full effort to build struggle at ground level. A united struggle of the working class is the need of the hour.
Com. Pradeep and Com. Patole read out the proposed resolution in English and Hindi. It called for participating in all united actions of trade unions against the proposed changes in labour laws. It also called for observing 24the Sept. as a day of protest against the proposed changes in labour laws. After vote of thanks by Com. P. Prasad the Convention ended with the raising of slogans for workers struggle and united fightback.