Hiranagar, December 23: A day long convention of CITU was held in Hiranagar which was presided over by Raj Kumar, General Secretary at Bhawan Nirman Kamghar Union. 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. It was addressed by different union representatives who expressed their concern over various problems being faced by the working class.
While addressing the convention, State President CITU 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.
These policies are drastically affecting the workforce especially working in the unorganized sector across the country including Jammu and Kashmir. The continuation of neo-liberal economic policies coupled with demonetization and implementation of GST have serious ramifications on the lives and livelihood of the working-class people. The GST concessions announced by BJP led Government cannot benefit the common people who are facing brunt as these concessions were purely announced keeping in view the forthcoming elections and electoral gains.
PDP-BJP government made big promises and subsequently they failed on every front. Even after the imposition of Governor’s rule, nothing has changed on the ground. In fact, things have gone from bad to worse. The state facing political uncertainty and there is an apprehension that this uncertainty may lead to more problems.
Sukhbhir Sing, President Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI) 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.
Om Prakash, General Secretary CITU said that Construction Workers, BRO workers, Need Based, Seasonal, Casual Labouers, Daily Wagers 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 and poorer sections of the society have been totally neglected by the government which has severely hit their means of livelihood.
The meagre wages of Anganwadi workers and helpers have not been paid for the last several months, compounding their miseries. Some of these workers are widows, who are the sole breadwinners of their respective families. How will they manage without if government has stopped their wages? The callous attitude of authorities has created uncertainty among these workers. Although these workers have forced the Union government to announce an increase in their remuneration, the basic issues of recognition, pension and social security has still not been addressed. The meagre hike in wages is not going to address the burning issues of these workers and helpers, as their families are dependent on them.
Raj Kumar, General Secretary Bhawan Nirman Kamghar 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.
Jagdesh Kumar, senior CITU leader said that 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. 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 has not taken measures to maximize employment opportunities.
The convention adopted several resolutions which include the resolution on ‘Implementation of Labour Laws, Minimum Wages Act, simplifying the process of registration of construction workers and redressal of burning issues confronting working class.
Others who spoke on the occasion include Ramesh Kumar,Jai Lal, Muzafar Wani, Hari Singh United School teachers association (USTA) leader and Seva Ram Kisan leader.