Workers of different sectors support insurance workers’ struggle against the proposed privatisation of public sector general insurance and increase in FDI

To

General Insurance Employees All India Association

We, the undersigned Federations of unions, unions, associations of workers of different sectors and people’s organizations extend our wholehearted support to your just struggle against the proposed privatisation of one general insurance company and against the increase in FDI limit for insurance sector to 74% from 49%. We wish complete success to your proposed All India strike on 17 March 2021.

The privatisation of a general insurance company is an anti-worker, anti-people and anti-social step.

Time and again, we workers have found that the privatisation of a public sector unit has led to hundreds of workers getting thrown out of their jobs. Privatisation has also led to higher and higher use of contract workers who are employed at one-third to one-fourth the wages of regular workers. After privatisation, both permanent and contract workers are made to work longer hours without overtime. Existing unions are busted by new capitalist owners and new workers are not allowed to organize themselves. The anti-worker step of privatisation thus weakens the entire working class.

Providing insurance services at affordable price is most important for people of the country. With the entry of the private sector in this field, insurance premiums have already shot up. Many insurance services will be beyond the reach of people as the present competition from public sector insurance companies is eliminated by privatising them.

Privatisation is anti-social, too. A general insurance company will not be run for fulfilling social needs after privatisation but purely in pursuit of private profit. Privatisation of general insurance companies will lead to the neglect of the general insurance needs of the rural population such as crop, cattle and hut insurance which are not profitable and concentration of private general insurance companies in fire and marine insurance which are profitable.

Increase in the FDI limit to 74% will give control of insurance sector to foreign insurance monopolies. Putting savings of Indian people at the disposal of foreign capitalists for maximising their profits instead of maximising the welfare of Indian people is an anti-national and anti-social step.

The general insurance sector been built with the toil of thousands of workers over decades and by using public funds. It is a property of the people and must be used to fulfil needs of workers and all other toilers and for their welfare.

Along with privatisation of the public sector insurance sector, the Central Government has declared an all-out war on all public sector enterprises and wants to hand over the precious assets built with Indian people’s money and sweat to private monopolies, both Indian and Foreign. It is only the united struggles of all of us that can stop the Government. At the same time, we all must mobilise the users of the services we provide, to join us in our fight against the privatisation policies. The insurance workers are doing this very well and a united front of workers, farmers and the toiling people is the way forward for all of us!

We appreciate your efforts to create awareness among users of insurance services about the ill effects of their privatization. We too will carry your awareness campaign among our members, their families and people at large as most of them are customers of the insurance sector. We are in complete solidarity with your struggles. An attack on one is an attack on all!

Yours in solidarity,

  1. Air India Service Engineers Association (AISEA),
  2. All India Coal Workers Federation (AICWF- CITU),
  3. All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF),
  4. All India Guards Council (AIGC),
  5. All India Insurance Employees association AIIEA)
  6. All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA),
  7. All India Port and Dock Workers Federation (AIP&DWF-HMS),
  8. All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF),
  9. All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF),
  10. All India Railway Employees Confederation (AIREC – Western Zone),
  11. All India Rail Trackmaintainers Union (AIRTU),
  12. All India Station Masters Association (AISMA),
  13. All India Train Controllers Association (AITCA),
  14. Cochin Refinery Employees Association (CREA-INTUC),
  15. Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation (HKMF-HMS),
  16. Indian Railway Loco Runningmen Organisation (IRLRO),
  17. Indian Railway Ticket Checking Staff Organisation (IRTCSO),
  18. Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC),
  19. Ladaku Garment Mazdoor Sangh (LGMS),
  20. Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation (MSBEF),
  21. National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR),
  22. Petroleum and Gas Workers Federation of India (P&GWFI),
  23. Port, Dock and Waterfront Workers Federation of India (PD&WWFI-AITUC),
  24. Steel Plant Employees Union (SEU-CITU)- Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited,
  25. Water Transport Workers Federation of India (WTWFI-CITU)
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