INTUC & CITU join hands for the working class

Port Blair
6 Nov 2017

As a curtainraiser to the ‘Mahapadav’ by the Central Trade Unions in front of the Parliament on November 9 to 11  to protest against various anti-working class policies adopted by the Central Government, a trade union convention was jointly organised by the A& N unit of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Centre of Trade Unions (CITU) on  November 5  at Andhra Association Hall which was chaired by Mr. M. Z. Siddique, vice president, INTUC in the presence of Mr. M. Boominathan, CITU state president and various unions affiliated to INTUC and CITU both from the organised and unorganised sectors. Mr.Siddique said that, INTUC and CITU are the two pioneer central trade unions in the isles that have stood and fought for the demands and right of the workers through sustained efforts and struggle. To him this is historic that a common dais is being shared by INTUC and CITU despite ideological differences to combat collectively against the anti-labour policies being enforced by the present Government. Mr. Siddique, PDS expert was concerned about the deteriorating PDS system and urged to strengthen with more commodities such as pulses, oil etc. to contain the price rise in the open market.
Mr. B. Chandrachoodan, State General Secretary, CITU talked of the ill-motive of the Centre to amend the labour laws detrimental to workers but favourable to employers. He added that all the statutory benefits for workers i.e. eight-hour  work a day, minimum wages, workmen compensation, maternity benefit, bonus, social security benefits like provident fund and ESI, rights to form trade unions etc. have been achieved through hard struggle of the working class people lead by the trade unions and not granted out of charity by employers or government. But the present government representing the interest of big capitalists both domestic and foreign is actively involved in imposing policies that is snatching the rights of workers, taking away jobs, creating unemployment, causing price rise and more exploitative measure against the poor, and as per the Supreme Court and calculation made by expert committee , the minimum monthly wages for a three member worker’s family needs to be Rs.20,000/-, however the central trade unions agreed for a negotiated rate of Rs.18,000/- but what the Andaman Administration is proposing to offer is around Rs.11,400@ Rs.437 per day which is far less and objectionable. Mr. Gyan Prakash Krishna, general secretary, INTUC said that in India over 90% of workers are not under labour laws. The rest 10% with private firms also do not get benefit because of poor or non implementation of those laws. The NDA government has already diluted and weakened their implementation by causing amendments in the Factory Act, 1948, Apprentices Act, 1961 and is further diluting the Industrial Dispute Act 1947, Trade Union Act, 1926 and Industrial Employment ( Standing Order) Act,1946 etc. so that it may not be possible to form a Trade Union in a factory having strength of less than 100 workers. Mr. Vinjith of NGO Association urged for stoppage of contractual appointment in permanent perennial work and same wage and benefits to contract workers as regular workers for similar work. Mr. Mohd. Rafi, General Secretary, INTUC said that in the history of the Pay Commission, the 7th Pay Commission by the NDA government is curse for government servants with reduced percentage of the allowances in HRA, ISDA, NPA etc. and purposely delayed the finalisation to avoid payment of arrears from the date of announcement of the 7th Pay Commission. Public meetings will be held at Bhatu Basti, Dairy Farm, Haddo in the evening of November 7, 9 and 10 respectively followed with Dharna and public meeting at Tiranga Park on  November 11 from 3 pm to 7 pm. The following resolutions were passed to be vigorously pursued with the A&N Administration.