IFTU NC Statement
Covid Re Rampage Exposes Anti people Callous Governance!
Workers Begin Fleeing Homeward Once Again!
The entire edifice of anti people governance in the country stands exposed as the corona virus goes through the expected second wave. Govts did not pay any attention to setting up adequate health care facilities despite having over a whole year’s time to do so. Rather, the Central Govt. allows Kumbh type super spreader events while its yes-men team of medical specialists preach preventive measures to the people.Thus as hospital facilities run out in state after state, lockdown threats loom. Resultantly, anticipating a re run of the days without wage, roof, food, transport or acknowledgement from govts, migrant workers throughout the country are fleeing homeward again.Trains and buses are packed and overcrowded, putting distancing norms to shame. But the Govts couldn’t care less about ensuring safe travel for workers and ordinary people.
And thus workers have begun to flee again. From Mumbai and other cities of Maharashtra, from Bengaluru. From Delhi too, though this is being covered up under pretext of routine movement for harvesting and marriage season. And from most other major cities of different states towards the rural areas.
Even where lockdowns are not announced, many measures hit workers. Domestic part timers are being told to stay away from apartments they worked in. Workers are rendered defunct as furnaces which need to work continually are shut down in night curfews. Transport curbs disallow workers from reaching workplaces. And all over the country, workers are still paying back loans incurred due to the false assurance of the Prime Minister that wages of lockdown periods would all be paid, just tide over the period.
As the situation threatens to worsen, Central Govt’s medical advisors advise people to turn to chawanprash while RSS leaders and Central Govt Ministers are treated at major allopathic centres; the Central Govt’s AIIMS facility at New Delhi has closed doors for routine commoners and Central Govt is moving full steam ahead pushing through policies of sale to corporate under cover of epidemic.
IFTU NC calls on all units to lead the workers to demand dignified and free travel home, enrolment by labour depts of all workers going home or losing workdays so that they can be paid wages by owners for closure periods uptil 7 days after work restarts and that those workers staying back should be provided food and shelter at state expenses.
IFTU National Committee Demands
*Free train travel for workers going home.Adequate number of fast trains to allow safe travel.
* Govts, through their Labour Departments, must ensure payment of wages to workers in all establishments in all cities where restrictions on work hours or partial or total lockdowns are being announced. Domestic workers must be included in such calculations.
*Free all covid care for all. Reopen all medical facilities for non covid ailments.
*Free and adequate cooked food distribution in all industrial areas, all working class areas where ever working has been restricted.
*Central and State Govts must open workplaces for covid related work like making masks for free distribution, where employment opportunities can be generated.
Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU)
15th April 2021