Report of the correspondent of Mazdoor Ekta Committee
A joint convention was organized by Central Trade Unions, Federations, Associations and Samyukt Kisan Morcha at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi on August 24, 2023. The convention announced the aim of workers and peasants to intensify the united struggle against the anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-national policies of the government.
Representatives of several farmers’ organizations, trade unions, and federations and associations associated with the manufacturing and service sectors of the economy participated in the convention. Workers from railway, defence, bank, insurance, aviation, healthcare and water supply sectors, local body workers, street vendors and domestic workers, etc. participated in it.
Activists of Mazdoor Ekta Committee actively participated in this convention.
Several banners were put up voicing the demands of the workers and peasants across the country, with slogans like: “Guarantee the minimum support price for all agricultural products!”, ” Long live the unity of workers-peasants and toilers!”, “Repeal the four anti-labour labor codes!”, “Abolish the contract system!”, “Privatization of electricity is against the interests of society!”, “Intensify the struggle against inflation and unemployment!”, “Stop selling off banks, railways, insurance, healthcare and education!”, “Implement equal pay for equal work!”. The call to workers and peasants was reflected in the slogan “You are the country’s wealth creators, you must become her masters”.
Representatives of many workers and farmers organizations addressed the convention. They elaborated the dire consequences of the central government’s policies on the workers, farmers and toiling masses.
Rising prices of essential commodities of life, lack of secure employment, massive unemployment, skyrocketing prices of education and healthcare, removal of subsidies on agricultural inputs and lack of assured government procurement of farmers’ produce at MSP, all these problems were raised with great anger by the representatives of all the organizations.
Many of the leaders who addressed the convention stressed that none of the promises made by the government to the farmers, who ended their 13-month-long strike on Delhi’s borders, have been fulfilled. Public sector businesses and services – rail and road transport, power supply, banking, insurance, defence, mining, education, healthcare, etc. – continue to be sold off at throwaway prices to private monopoly capitalist houses. No new recruitment is being done to fill vacant posts in government departments. Contracting and outsourcing are being promoted. The rights of workers are being openly violated through the four labor codes.
All the speakers condemned the rulers’ continuing policy of “divide and rule” and organizing communal violence to crush the united struggle of workers and peasants against the all-out attacks faced by them.
A charter of demands of workers and farmers was adopted at the convention.
Several programs to take this joint movement forward were announced in the convention. These include observing October 3, 2023 (the day the farmers’ massacre in Lakhimpur Kheri took place in 2021) as a Black Day and demanding the dismissal and prosecution of the alleged conspirator, Home Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni; organization of Mahapadav day and night, 26th to 28th November 2023, in front of Raj Bhavans in the capitals of all states and union territories; marking 26th November which is the anniversary of the first day of the All India General Strike by workers and the historic march to Parliament by farmers; bold and widespread joint protests will be organized across the country through December 2023 and January 2024.