JAMMU, Dec 30: A day-long convention of different trade unions was held at Jammu which was presided over by Ghulam Nabi Malik General Secretary JK Kisan Tehreek. The convention deliberated upon various issues and problems confronting working class, with the determination to intensify struggles to fight anti-working class and anti-people policies of the government. The convention was addressed by different union representatives.
While addressing the convention, State President CITU Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami expressed serious concern over the plight of the working class who is adversely hit by the neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the government which are drastically affecting the workforce in the state. The implementation of demonitisation and GST have serious ramification on the livelihood of the working-class people.
The employment situation has worsened under the neoliberal regime with steep fall in permanent jobs and increase in precarious jobs like contract, casual, temporary, fixed term, part time, apprentices, trainees etc. The situation has further worsened after the systemic crisis which started in 2008 and is still continuing. Such crises are integral to the capitalist system and the employers seek to protect their profits by shifting the burden on to the workers. Increasing unemployment is one of the outcomes of this.
The joint trade union movement has been raising the demand for employment generation since long. It has been demanding that the concessions and exemptions being given to the big corporates should be linked to job creation. But the government totally ignored the demand. While every year tax exemptions of around Rs 5 lakh crore are given away to the big corporates, employment generation is becoming negative. Money due to the government is money due to the people. That is being waived off on the pretext that this will create jobs. But this has become a chimera. Net employment generation is turning negative. Whatever employment that is created, is of very poor quality, indecent, with no job security, income security or social security.
Om Prakash, General Secretary CITU, in his address said 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 country today specifically target the social security benefits in order to pass on the burden to the working people. He said that Need Based, Seasonal, Casual Labouers, Daily Wagers, Anganwadi workers/helpers, ASHA’s under NHM, CPWs, Mid-Day Meal Workers, MGNREGA employees, Contractuals, are neglected and their long pending demands are not met. Drastic cuts on allocations by the central government in the welfare schemes 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. The weaker sections of the society have been totally neglected by the government which has severely hit their means of livelihood.
Narshing President, State Central Labour Union said that the BJP-led government is formulating the labour laws which are totally pro-corporate and anti-labour class in nature, which are bound to curtail the social security benefits to the working force. As a result of this regressive step the condition of the working force is bound to be affected adversely.The Labour laws in the state were not in tune with the interests of workers and there was imminent need to amend and update these.
Gh Nabi Malik, General Secretary, JK Kisan Tehreekexpressed concern over various problems being faced by the kisans. He said that the announced scale of relief for damage to apple crop in Kashmir valley, is insufficient given the quantum of destruction. The Government should provide adequate compensation keeping in view the recurring losses to the farmers. He also demanded one-time waiver of KCC and other agricultural loans to the small farmers and fruit growers whose harvest was damaged by the snowfall, Malik called for fully implementation of Crop Insurance Scheme (CIS) in the state.
While criticizing the government for paying a meagre amount as compensation to the farmers for their land acquired by the Government for ring roads in Srinagar, Jammu and other developmental projects, he urged the authorities to pay the suitable compensation to those whose land has been or is to be acquired.
The convention appealed the workers and employees to make two days’ General Strike on 8-9 January 2019 called by the central trade unions a success. For the worker force, this is theopportunity to register our strong protest against the policies pursued by the government.
Others who spoke on the occasion include Pawan Gupta of LIC union, Anita Rajput of ASHA workers Union,Raj Kumar, Muzafar Wani, Jia Lal and Jagdesh Kumar CITU leaders.