Srinagar, May 01: Stating that the onslaught on labour class is too severe and can only be met with united struggle, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) president and MLA Kulgam, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami Monday said that the unemployment being a cause of serious concern have not been addressed seriously by the successive governments.
Addressing the day long convention at Srinagar on the May Day, the CITU president said that the onslaught on labour class is too severe and can only be met with united struggle.
“The labour laws across the state were being brazenly flouted and the destitute engaged in government and private sector as ad-hoc, casual, seasonal, need based, contingency paid workers and contractuals are facing its brunt,” he said according to the KNS correspondent.
“Isolated efforts can’t be effective, be united and bold enough to safeguard the democratic rights of the workers and defeat the anti worker policies of successive governments” Tarigami stressed upon the workers.
He said that ASHA’s under NHM, Anganwadi workers and Helpers, CPWs, Mid Day Meal Workers, MGNREGA employees, Contractuals, Construction Workers, Need Based, Seasonal, Casual Labouers and Daily Wagers are neglected and their long pending demands are not met.
“The traditional artisans and weavers also reap little benefits of their hard toil and even were badly hit in the last floods are awaiting rehabilitation. Drastic cuts on allocations by the central government in the welfare schemes like ICDS, Mid-day-meal, NHM with the motive of finally doing away with such pro-people schemes and programmes altogether has desperately disillusioned the human resource working tirelessly and being meagrely paid under these schemes,” he added.
MLA Kulgam observed that labour laws in the state are not in tune with the interests of workers in organized and unorganized sector and there was imminent need to amend and update these. “The (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Act, 1996 to protect the rights of labourers working in construction projects has failed to benefit them. The Building and Other Construction Workers Act 1996 too has been a failure,” the CITU president observed.
He said that the social security benefits like pension, provident fund, health insurance etc. are hard won rights of the working class secured through decades of struggle. “These gains are now being reversed through privatization of pension funds, provident funds and cuts in subsidies and welfare benefits and such measures being implemented across the world today specifically target the social security benefits in order to pass on the burden of the economic crisis to the working people,” he said.
CIYU president observed that the subsidies on food, fuel and fertilizers meant for the common man is targeted to be brought down to the mere 1.75% of GDP, while as 5% of GDP is being provided for tax defaulters and moneyed class.
Warning against the dangers of the divisive forces, trying to divide the working class on caste, religion, regional lines; Tarigami stressed the importance of the trade unions addressing the specific issues of the socially oppressed sections of the society to unify the working class.
He also said that the high levels of unemployment being a cause of serious concern have not been addressed seriously by the successive governments thereby putting our youth in a state of despair and worrisome. “Widespread under-employment is also gaining momentum as highly qualified and skillful youth are doing low end and unskilled jobs,” he added.
Tarigami lamented that the government seems to be in no mood to take measures to maximize employment opportunities. “The government must formulate a comprehensive employment policy in the state to guarantee much employment avenues under public and private sectors and harnessing the talented human resource,” he demanded.
Tarigami also paid tributes to the Zaldagar martyrs of 1865 and said that they laid the edifice of a struggle against the exploitation and atrocities on the artisans, a prominent section of working class.
He said that the shawlbaff protest launched at Zaldagar against the ruling class has given vent to numerous movements of working class which are awaiting successful culminations.
Meanwhile, the other CITU leaders underlined the necessity for immediate redressal of the demands of workers working in the different government departments or at private institutes.
Meanwhile, the convention held today also adopted the four resolutions demanding, the implementation of Minimum Wages Act of Rs 18,000 per month, Social security benefits like pension, gratuity, provident fund, maternity benefits and regularization of Anganwadi workers/helpers, ASHA workers, adhoc/contractual/daily wagers/need based workers.
The other three resolutions that were adopted today are that the comprehensive policy to tackle the alarming unemployment problem in the State, concrete measures to curb price rise and the protection of trade union rights. (KNS)