SRINAGAR, December 13: Day long convention of CITU was held in Srinagar which was presided over by its State President Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami. The convention was addressed by different union representatives who expressed their concern over various problems being faced by the working class.
While addressing the convention, Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami expressed serious concern over the plight of the working class which is adversely hit by the neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the BJP Government. He called for united struggle to fight the onslaught of the anti-labour policies of the central government, due to which every section of the society has been bearing the brunt. The claims of economic growth do not carry any weight when the statistics reveal that 73 per cent of the additional wealth created during 2017-18 has been earned by one per cent of the population.
These policies are drastically affecting the workforce especially working in the unorganized sector across the country including Jammu and Kashmir virtually reducing them to the status of bonded labour. The continuation of neo-liberal economic policies of the Modi government coupled with demonetization and implementation of GST have serious ramifications on the lives and livelihood of the working-class people.
Labour laws in the state were not in tune with the interests of workers in organized and unorganized sector and there was imminent need to amend and update these. 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 skilful youth are doing low end and unskilled jobs. The government seems to be in no mood to take measures to maximize employment opportunities.
Ab Gani Bhat, President Non-Gazetted Horticulture Employees Union and senior CITU leader 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. Stressing for implementation of the basic labour laws in the State, he demanded implementation of Minimum Wages Act and fixation of statutory minimum wage of not less than Rs 18,000 per month. He demanded employment to local residents in the companies executing different construction projects in the state.
Abdul Rashid Najar senior CITU leader 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, 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.
The convention adopted several resolutions which include the resolution on ‘Implementation of Labour Laws, Minimum Wages Act, simplifying the process of registration of workers and redressal of burning issues confronting working class.
Others who spoke on the occasion include Mohamad Afzal Parry, Bashir Ahmad CITU leaders, Sheikh Aijaz President Non-Gazetted Electrical Employees Union, Lateefa Ganie & Mirsa of Anganwadi Workers/Helpers Union and Pervaiz Ahmad Kuchay and Ghulam Nabi Shaksaz of Kashmir Constructional Workers Union.