Monday, 31 August 2015

MAKE THE 2ND SEPTEMBER 2015 ALL INDIA STRIKE



A HISTORIC SUCCESS.

Dear Comrades,

                We have placed on our website the synopsis of the discussion the leaders of the Central Trade Unions had with the Group of Ministers on the 12 point charter of demands. The Central Trade Unions evaluated the Government’s response to the strike call and have come to the conclusion that in the absence of any tangible result, the strike action must take place.  The only issue on which there had been a concrete proposal from the Government was on the question of raising the bonus ceiling.  In fact such an assurance has been given by the earlier Government also.  Due to the pressure exerted by the employing class, the said assurance could not be translated into reality.  To have the assurance to be put into practice, the Bonus Act has to be amended and that is possible only in the next session of the parliament.  In other words, if one is to believe the assurance held out by the Government on the question of raising the ceiling for bonus computation, it can only have prospective effect i.e. for the next year 2016.  We firmly believe that the corporate would not allow the present government to give effect to this assurance.  The acrimonious ceiling on bonus while allowing unlimited extraction of profit for the companies is to be fought out through bitter struggles.

                There had been no word from the Government on the question of rolling back its proposals on the labour reforms. The proposed labour reforms will hurt the working class most.  The regularization of contract workers, payment of minimum wage, ensuring statutory Pension benefit, the registration or recognition of trade unions within a stipulated time limit to enable the workers to have the right to collective bargaining, the non implementation of the agreements reached at the various tripartite Labour conferences were some of the significant issues on which the working class sought settlement. Introduction of 100% FDI in Railways, 49% in Defencecorporatisation & privatisation of government entities, end for contract/casual temporary employment also met with stoic silence or rejection.  The Group of Ministers has successfully eluded the issues. The BMS unions have declared that they would withdraw from the strike action.  Their decision being political based is understandable, but is difficult to appreciate. We can only hope against hope that they would realize the reality of the situation in the days to come and become part of the joint struggles very soon.
                The 7th CPC has sought further time to submit its report.  They are now likely to submit their report by 31st December, 2015.  Given the way the commission had acted on this vital issue, we are not certain of it.  It is on the specious plea that they would be submitting their report within the stipulated time, they had rejected our demand for interim relief.  They ought to have submitted an interim report to the Government before seeking further time on the memorandum submitted by the Staff Side on merger of DA and Interim relief.  Even if the report is submitted say by 31st December, 2015,  which we feel is unlikely, the Government is bound to take another six months to take a view on the Commission’s recommendations.   It is incumbent upon the National JCA to meet immediately and take appropriate decision in the light of the unexpected step taken by the Commission in seeking further time to submit its report.  They must go ahead with the decision to go on strike from 23rd November, 2015 demanding the Commission to submit urgently an interim report on merger of DA and Interim relief.
                There had been no positive steps taken by the government to revive the functioning of the JCM at National or Departmental levels.  There appears to be no intention on their part to cause discussion on our charter of demands.   In this background we must revitalize and rejuvenate the functioning of our   Organizations at all levels.  We have received excellent reports of the strike preparation from all over the country.

DO EVERYTHING NEEDED TO MAKE THE 2ND SEPTEMBER, STRIKE A STUPENDOUS SUCCESS.

With greetings,

Yours fraternally,

M.Krishnan
Secretary General

Saturday, 29 August 2015

FLASH NEWS COUNTRYWIDE GENERAL STRIKE ON 2ND SEPTEMBER STANDS CENTRAL TRADE UNIONS REASSERT THE CALL FOR UNITED ACTION MARCH AHEAD UNITEDLY, MAKE THE COUNTRYWIDE GENERAL STRIKE ON 2ND SEPTEMBER A MASSIVE SUCCESS

Saturday, August 29, 2015


COUNTRYWIDE GENERAL STRIKE ON 2ND SEPTEMBER STANDS CENTRAL TRADE UNIONS REASSERT THE CALL FOR UNITED ACTION MARCH AHEAD UNITEDLY, MAKE THE COUNTRYWIDE GENERAL STRIKE ON 2ND SEPTEMBER A MASSIVE SUCCESS

After two rounds of discussion between the Group of Ministers and the central trade unions on the 12-point charter of demands of the trade unions held on 26th and 27th August 2015, the GoM headed by Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley sent an appeal through the press release dated 27-08-2015 (Press Information Bureau) after 10 pm urging upon the trade unions to reconsider the call for countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2015 claiming that the Govt has given concrete assurance to consider most of the demands  of the trade unions and that the trade unions agreed to consider the Govt’s proposals. Similar appeal was also made in the meeting of 27th August.  Both the claims of the Govt are totally incorrect.   

To put the facts straight, the joint platform of central trade unions have been pursuing with successive governments at the centre with their basic demands since 2009 and observed three rounds of countrywide general strike since 2010, the last being for two days in February 2013. In the two rounds of meeting between the CTUOs and the Group of Minister, nothing transpired in concrete terms except vague statements by the ministers on steps to be taken or being taken on some of the issues, that too not in the right direction.

The Govt’s press release mentioned, inter alia, certain issues in support of their unfounded claim.
1.    The Govt stated about “appropriate legislation for making formula based minimum wages mandatory and applicable” for all. But despite concrete pointers made by the trade unions that such formula should be what has already been unanimously  recommended by the 44th Indian Labour Conference in 2012 and again reiterated by 46th Indian Labour Conference in July 2015 in which the Govt of India is also a party,  the Ministers did not give any concrete commitment on the same. In fact said formulae recommended by 44th ILC in 2012 and reiterated by 46th ILC in July 2015, makes minimum wage around Rs 20000/- at 2014 price level and the Trade Unions demanded only Rs 15,000/. The Ministers’ vague formulation does not ensure even half of that. Is such a position worth consideration?    
2.    On contract workers, the Govt assured that they will be guaranteed minimum wages. What is there to assure except spreading deliberate confusion?  Existing laws of the land lawfully ensures payment of minimum wages to contract workers. The Govt’s statement regarding “sector specific minimum wages for the contract workers” also does not make any sense. The trade unions demanded “same wages and other benefits as regular workers in the concerned industry/establishment to be paid to contract workers.” The 43rd Indian Labour Conference held in 2011 recommended the same and 46th ILC unanimously reiterated the same in 2015, in which, again, the present Govt is a party. How could they deny the unanimous recommendation of the highest tripartite forum in the country like Indian Labour Conference?
3.    The steps taken by the Govt on Labour Law amendments, are meticulously designed to throw out more than 70% of the workers on industries and other establishments from the purview and coverage of almost all basic labour laws and also to eliminate almost all components/provisions of rights and protections of the workers. This was supplemented by more aggressive steps already taken by a good number of state governments to already amend the labour laws in the similar lines. On this issue, the Govt stated only that they will hold tripartite consultation before taking such steps.  The trade unions demanded scrapping of such proposals by the central govt and also not to give assents (through President) to the unilateral amendments made by the state governments. Even in all the tripartite consultations held on some of the proposals of the Govt, the trade unions’ unanimous suggestions has been ignored by the Govt in favour of loud supportive applauds of the employers. Once these retrograde changes in labour laws totally dismantling the rights and protection measures for the workers and also throwing more that 70% of the workers out of the purview of labour laws are enacted, thereby rendering the almost entire working people a right-less entity in their workplace, what would ensure even payment of minimum wage and other social security benefits for them, even if those provisions are improved ?  Can any trade union, worth its name accept such a machination designed to impose conditions of virtual slavery on the working people ?
4.    Despite repeated insistence by all the trade unions, the Govt refused to concede to the demand for recognizing  the Scheme workers, viz., Anganwadi, Mid-day meal, ASHA, Para-teachers and others as “worker” with attendant rights of statutory minimum wages and other benefits in gross violation of the unanimous recommendation of the 45th Indian Labour Conference in 2013, reiterated again by the 46th ILC  in 2015. These workers and all the schemes have been put to further crisis threatening their existance owing to drastic cut in budgetary allocations for those schemes. In such a situation, does the assurance of the Govt to “extend social security measures” and “working out ways” for the same carry any meaning?
5.    On bonus issue, the Govt has assured to revise the eligibility and calculation ceiling to Rs 21000/- and Rs 7000/- respectively from existing Rs 10000/- and Rs 3500/-. Trade Unions’ demand has been that since there is no ceiling on profit, all ceilings in the Payment of Bonus Act should be removed altogether. Trade unions also demanded substantial upward revision of the formula for gratuity calculation and remove the ceiling on gratuity payment. The Govt has negated the demands.
6.    On price rise situation, claim of the Govt that it has gone down does not match with ground reality in respect of commodities for daily necessities of the common people. The demands of the trade unions for putting a ban on speculation/forward trading in essential commodities and services along with universalisation of public distribution system throughout the country have been totally ignored.
7.    Trade Unions demanded stoppage of disinvestment in public sector undertakings playing crucial and supportive role in advancement of the national economy. Govt totally ignored the same, rather has been going on aggressively in disinvestment route  in all the major PSUs much to the detriment of the interest of the country’s economy.  On the demands for stoppage of further FDI in defence, railways and financial sector, the stance of the Govt is continuing to be a total denial. Rather, the Govt has been aggressively pursuing deregulation and privatization in strategic sectors like electricity, Port & Docks, Airports etc in a big way.

There are other issues as well, statement of Govt continued to be totally vague and their claim is unfounded. How can anybody, rather any trade union worth its name can consider above stands taken by the Govt on vital demands of the workers as a positive development and move out from the programme of united strike action ?

Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for reconsidering the decisions of the Central Trade Unions for countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2015. Rather, the situation demands that there should be no vascillation in carrying forward the call for general strike on 2nd September 2015 throughout the country in all sectors of the economy with firm determination.

The Central Trade Unions appeal to all working people irrespective of affiliations to make the call for countrywide general strike against the anti-worker, anti-people policies of Govt a massive success.
                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                              Tapan Sen

                                                                                                                                                      General Secretary CITU

Thursday, 27 August 2015

STRIKE ON 2ND SEP, 2015: GOVT ASSURED ON BONUS ENHANCEMENTAND WAGES FORMULA.

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Labour & Employment

27-August-2015 21:05 IST

Inter Ministerial Committee Holds Wider Consultations with Trade Unions on Charter of Demands Appeals to Reconsider Proposed Call for Strike in View of Discussions

            The Second meeting of Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) continued discussion on 12 Demands Charter of Trade Unions for the second day here today in continuation of discussions held yesterday. The Committee comprises Shri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, MoS(IC) Labour and Employment, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, MOS(IC) Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Jitendra Singh, MoS DOPT, and Shri Piyush Goel, MoS (IC), Power. During the discussions Trade Unions expressed concern and asked for clarifications on their demands. Addressing their concerns and expectations, the Finance Minister explained policies on which the Government is working and assured that the Government is committed to welfare of labour. Underlining the importance of role of Trade Unions, Shri Jaitely assured the Central Trade Unions that all labour laws reforms will be done with due discussions and tripartite consultations.

            In view of the discussions held in conducive and cordial atmosphere, the IMC appealed to Trade Unions to reconsider the proposed call for strike on 2nd September, 2015.The Trade Unions have agreed to consider the appeal.

            In view of the suggestions given by Central Trade Unions in the meetings held on 19th July, 26th August and 27th August, 2015, the Government assured the following:

1.         Appropriate legislation for making formula based minimum wages mandatory and applicable to all employees across the country.

2.         For the purposes of bonus the wage eligibility limit and calculation ceiling would be appropriately revised. Earlier in 2006-07 the calculation ceiling was decided at Rs.3500/- and eligibility limit was wage of Rs.10,000/- per month which is proposed to be revised to Rs.7,000 and Rs.21,000 respectively.

3.         The Government is expanding the coverage of social security and working out ways to include construction workers, Aanganwari workers, ASHA workers and Mid Day Meal workers.

4.         Regarding contract workers the Government assured that they will be guaranteed minimum wages. Moreover, the Government is working out ways so that workers of industries will get sector specific minimum wages.

5.         Government has already enhanced minimum pension for EPFO members and every pensioner gets minimum pension of Rs.1000/- per month perpetually.

6.         Labour laws reforms will be based on tripartite consultations as already stated by the Prime Minister. The States are also being advised to follow the tripartite process.

7.         For strict adherence to labour law enforcement, advisory has been issued to the State/UT Governments and strict monitoring has been initiated by Central Government.

8.         For employment generation Mudra Yojana, Make in India, Skill India and National Career Service Portal initiatives have been taken.

9.         Abolition of interviews for all primary jobs which do not require any special knowledge/expertise, is being done for transparency and expediting the process of recruitment.

10.       Inflation is lowest in the last many years excepting two items onion and pulses. Government is taking necessary steps to contain the higher prices of these two commodities also.

            It was further clarified that there is no ban on filling up of vacancies in Government jobs and all concerned Departments are taking necessary action to fill-up these vacancies. It was further assured that the Government is committed to job security, wages security and social security to the workers. The issue of equal wages for equal work for contract workers is an issue requiring wider consultations and a committee will be constituted, if required.


Source: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=126401

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