This webinar was organised by the Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) on December 13, 2020 and was attended by 220 activists from insurance, banking, railways, petroleum, education and health sectors as well as activists from people’s organisations and political parties. The earlier meetings in the series “Unite Against Privatisation!” were on the banks, railways, education and the oil sector.
Com Mathew, the Secretary of the KEC welcomed the hundreds of participants and explained the importance of uniting the workers of different public sector enterprises and services with the people at large, because privatisation is disastrous for all of us. It is important to clarify why privatisation is anti-social, so that we can build a broad front against privatisation. Over 15 organisations of railway workers have come together to form the National Coordination Committee of Railwaymen’s Struggles and the KEC is honoured to be a part of it and contribute in whatever way it can. He lauded the peasants of our country who have shown death defying courage and determination in their fight against the black laws that facilitate the entry of corporate monopolies into farming and trade, and declared that like other organisations and people from all over the country, KEC stood behind them. In fact the activists of Mazdoor Ekta Committee have been going among the peasants on dharnas at different borders of Delhi and expressing the support of KEC and other organisations that have brought out a statement in their support. He welcomed Com Amanullah Khan, ex-President of the All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA) and Com Govindan Krishnan, General Secretary of the General Insurance Employees All India Association (GIEAIA)
Com Ashok Kumar gave a presentation on behalf of KEC, in which he explained the importance of the insurance sector and why it is necessary for people to unite with the workers and oppose its privatisation. Using the Chat facility, many participants thanked the KEC for this insightful presentation. The speeches by the two leaders were well appreciated too. They thanked KEC for its initiative in bringing together leaders and workers from various public sector enterprises and for providing a forum in which they could get to know about the problems in other sectors. The experience of users on the ill effects of privatisation of one service would also motivate the users of other services to oppose privatisation. They spoke about how the insurance sector has contributed substantial capital to building up the infrastructure of the country. It has admirably fulfilled all the aims that were enumerated at the time of its nationalisation. Now, just like in the case of the railways and other sectors, the government is hell bent on privatising the highly profitable part of the business of insurance, and we must oppose it!
There was lively discussion when the floor was thrown open. Participants appreciated the work done by the insurance workers and agents in building up the sector and lauded the unions for stoutly opposing efforts to privatise the sector. Some participants pointed out that it was necessary for us to question this political system, the way power is concentrated in the hands of a few who brazenly go about defying the will of the majority, as exemplified by the on going peasant agitation.
It was a very successful meeting, and Com Mathew reminded everyone to look out for the next webinar in the series that would be announced soon.
Highlights of presentation of Kamgar Ekta Committee
Highlights of presentation of the All India Insurance Employees Association
Highlights of presentation of the General Insurance Employees All India Association