The National Committee of the Indian Federation of Trade Unions extends revolutionary greetings to the working class of India for the successful one day strike on 2nd September 2016. IFTU calls on the Modi Govt. to heed the voice of the working class and to withdraw the anti- worker, anti- national policies of its Govt. We demand that Rs 18000 be fixed as minimum wage, labour laws be implemented , and the anti- worker changes being proposed in the major labour laws be scrapped, divestment in PSUs be stopped .
Today, IFTU units throughout the country implemented the strike call, along with other unions in some places and on its own in some places. In UCIL( Uranium Corporation of India Limited) in Tatanagar, IFTU workers started a day long dharna at the gate from 11am onwards. A lunch hour meeting was also held. One other union also participated. In Punjab,marches and road blocks were held by IFTU in Nawashahr, Jallander, Malout, Roop Nagar(Ropar), Hoshiarpur in Gar Shankar, Patiala, Muktsar, Fazilka, Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Hariyya in Amritsar, Faridkot and Rampur Phool in Bhatinda district. In some places other forces also joined us.
In West Bengal, Jute, engineering and Biscuit industries affiliated to IFTU observed strike including India Jute Mill ( Srirampur), Jayshree Jute, Jayshree Insulators and Jayshree Textiles (Hoogly), Hindustan Glass( Hoogly) and Anmol Biscuits. In Dalhousie all hawkers affiliated to IFTU closed their shops.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Denso Industries in Greater Noida where IFTU activists are working, held a lunch hour gate meeting in support of the strike and also the workers wore black armbands.In Allahabad , a protest meeting was held at Guhania.
In Odisha, IFTU held marches in Muniguda, Saroda, Behrampur and Chikiti where construction workers participated. Over 100 activists took part in each rally except Saroda where 200 participated. Motor workers were also part of the rally in Muniguda. In Bihar, an Iftu rally of construction workers was taken out through Muzaffarpur town. In Sitamari District all 200 auto workers remained off the roads-they are organized under IFTU. In Sasaram town, a rally was held in which construction workers and auto workers took part.
In Maharashtra, IFTU members took part in the joint trade union actions in Mumbai, Thane and Pune.
In Delhi, IFTU moved in a big way in the private sector industrial areas. In Okhla a rally of around 1000 workers was led by IFTU from Harkesh Nagar Crossing in Okhla Phase2, which ensured around 90% strike in the area. The rally was joined by other unions also and then proceeded to close Phase 1 of the industrial area. In Mayapuri IFTU led a rally of 1000-1500 workers to close both the phases and then a mass meeting was held in Phase 1 where AITUC and CITU also participated. In Hyderpur Industrial area a rally of IFTU closed down the area and around 500 workers took part in the demonstration. A Joint rally of IFTU and AITUC also closed down the Kirti Nagar Industrial Belt in West Delhi with around 500 workers participating in the joint rally. Permanent workers of Safdurjung Hospital and of DSOI held a joint lunch hour demonstration outside Safdurjung Hospital which was joined by leaders of the Hospital Contract Workers union. They also extended support to the striking nurses of central Govt hospitals.
In the state of Telangana the strike was big success with transport coming to a halt.RTC buses,Auto-rickshaws were off the roads and almost all the industrial centres were shut.Work in the state-run Singareni Collieries was struck with both regular and contract workers actively implementing the strike call. The president of IFTU-affiliated Contract Workers Union,Venkanna was picked up by the police in the early hours and detained. The entire beedi industry in the state got shut as a result of the strike. IFTU held rallies independently in some areas and in about 70 centres IFTU participated in joint rallies.In AP IFTU led the strike in four jute mills in Eluru and Nelimarla and participated in joint rallies with major mobilization in these centres. Hamali workers, gas delivery workers struck work in West Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Anantapur. In all the ten districts of the state IFTU actively participated in the success of the strike.
While the workers throughout the country have responded overwhelmingly to the strike call, the BMS chickened out of the strike call in the name of the positive response of the Govt. However the other central Trade unions must reckon with the fact that several trade union centres including IFTU played a key role in the success of the strike. It is time that all sectarianism is shed, all hesitation cast aside, and realization dawns that token gestures of struggle are not enough. Sectoral and All India struggles are the need of the hour and to meet it the platform of struggle must include all fighting trade union centres. IFTU will remain committed to advancing the struggle of the working class.
Pradeep General Secretary