On May 1, 2010, workers with red flags in their hands, and fists raised, participated in May Day rallies all across our country. Workers from different branches of the economy participated in these actions. The call of our Party to the working class to unite around one program of the working class was enthusiastically received, as well as taken up, by workers.
On May 1, 2010, workers with red flags in their hands, and fists raised, participated in May Day rallies all across our country. Workers from different branches of the economy participated in these actions. The call of our Party to the working class to unite around one program of the working class was enthusiastically received, as well as taken up, by workers. Mazdoor Ekta Lehar is printing below brief reports of some of the May Day actions.
No conciliation with the capitalist program! Let us unite firmly around our own class aim and program! This was the overwhelming spirit of the workers who participated in the May 1 actions in the capital.
Red flag hoisted at central office of Party
Amidst great enthusiasm, the red flag was hoisted at the central office of the Party in Sanjay Colony, South Delhi, at dawn on May Day. Party activists and masses of workers and women and youth participated enthusiastically in the function. The meeting was addressed by many activists from different organizations. The speaker from the Party pointed out that the time is calling upon us to forge the powerful unity of the working class around one program of the class. We must fight for the realization of this program uncompromisingly. We must fight with the clear goal of replacing the rule of the capitalist class with the rule of the working class. The power of decision making, which today vests in the capitalist class, must vest with the working masses.
Red Flag hoisted enthusiastically in working class colony in East Delhi
The morning of 1 May 2010 began on a bright note in the Madanpur Khader resettlement colony, a working class locality in East Delhi. Activists and supporters of Communist Ghadar Party of India mobilized workers and women to participate in the celebrations of May Day. The program began with flag hoisting by a veteran worker. More workers and women going off to their workplaces, gathered around the flag to listen to the speakers from CGPI, Lok Raj Sangathan and Purogami Mahila Sangathan.
Addressing the workers the representative from CGPI said that “the capitalists have a very clear program against the working class and people, which they implement single mindedly using all means at their disposal. They do not budge from this program, irrespective of which capitalist party comes to power at center and States. If we workers have to change this unbearable situation, we must fight to realize our own independent program. We must not rest until the program is achieved. We must force every working class party and union to adhere to this program. Those who compromise with the program of the capitalists and abandon the working class program must be exposed and isolated.”
The speaker from Lok Raj Sangathan said that “while lakhs of tonnes of food grain are rotting in the government godowns, people are being made to buy the same food grains at double the cost. Government is deliberately destroying the public distribution system under the garb of targeted PDS. Naukri, roti, makaan, shiksha, pani aur bijli are our inviolable rights and we must fight for them unitedly and uncompromisingly! “
The speaker from Purogami Mahila Sangathan said that the main problem is that working people don’t have power in their hands. If power comes in our hands, there won’t be any price rise, and unemployment, we will ensure housing, electricity, water, education, health and sanitation facility for all. Hence we must organise to snatch the power from the hands of the capitalists and put it in the hands of workers, peasants, women and youth.
Joint May Day action in the capital
With full throated slogans “Red salute to the martyrs of May Day!”, “Workers of the world Unite”, “death to capitalism” “We constitute India, we are her masters, workers, peasants, women and youth”, “Lal Kile par Lal Nishan, Mang Raha hai Hindostaan!”, “Hindostaan ka Navnirmaan, Mang Raha Mazdoor Kisaan!”, “Down with state terrorism”, “Mehangai par Rok lagao, Mazdoor-Kisan ka Raj basao!, “Glory to Marxism-Leninism”, thousands of workers marched from Ram Lila Maidan to the Town Hall near the historic Red Fort, commemorating May Day 2010 with renewed enthusiasm and vigour. The rally revealed growing unity in the ranks of workers and activists of various trade unions in the face of ever increasing offensive of the capitalists and their governments at centre and states against the rights of labour. The central march was organised by the united forum of trade unions consisting of Mazdoor Ekta Committee, AITUC, CITU, UTUC, AIUTUC, TUCC, HMS, and the federations of bank employees, insurance employees, and rail workers.
The call of the party to unite around one working class program —“The program of the working class is to realize Naukri, roti aur makaan; shiksha aur swasth; pani aur bijli — as our inviolable rights!” was enthusiastically taken up by the workers. The speaker addressing the rally pointed out that while the workers and toiling masses are reeling under the dual burden of economic crisis and steep price rise the government is busy protecting the interests of the capitalists to fatten themselves and become a global player. While the workers are finding it difficult to ensure two square meals for their families, the big capitalists are making their names amongst world’s richest and buying up companies in India and abroad. This is direct outcome of the program of globalization through privatisation and liberalisation, pursued uninterruptedly by various at the Centre and states for nearly 20 years. Illustrating the intent of the Delhi government, he said that even the increase in the minimum wages for unskilled labour, which itself is inadequate by government’s own admission, is being openly challenged by the capitalists, and the government is unwilling to enforce it. This very clearly shows who controls the government — the capitalists. He called upon workers to wage uncompromising struggle against the capitalist offensive.
Insurance Employees oppose privatization and liberalization of insurance sector
On the occasion of May Day, the insurance employees carried out protests against the government allowing increased foreign direct investment in the insurance sector. They raised the issue that at this time, the monies collected by the insurance companies in the state sector are being used to develop the infrastructure of the country. Foreign insurance companies will take away the monies of the Indian people.
Municipal workers of Delhi celebrate May Day
With the slogan of opposing division of the working class on base of caste, creed and region, and fighting unitedly for the common class aims and the rights of the class, the Delhi Municipal Workers Union organized May Day meetings in workplaces. They opposed the capitalist program of globalization through liberalization and privatization. In particular, they called for an end to the system of contract labour in municipal services, by which for several years, workers are being kept on contract on minimum wages, with no rights.
May Day Celebrated in Mumbai with gusto
Under the leadership of the Trade Union Joint Action Committee (TUJAC), workers of Mumbai participated enthusiastically in the May Day Rally which was held in the Railway Union Hall, Matunga. The workers marched from Dadar to Matunga Central Railway Stations shouting militant slogans. like ‘Tata, Bata, amcha wata kuthe hai go” (“listen you capitalists where is our share?”). The TUJAC had brought out a leaflet demanding control on price rise and unemployment, social security for unorganized workers, a stop to privatization, strict implementation of labour laws, implementation of laws related to domestic workers, unemployment allowance to those who have lost their livelihood, end to the contract system and absorbing of contract workers in the permanent staff. Workers affiliated to the Kamgar Ekta Chalwal, CITU, AITUC, HMS, Northern Railway Men’s Union, AIUTUC, Kamgar Aghadi, Bombay University & College Teachers Union, Western Railway Employees Union, Bank Employees Federation of India and others participated. A large number of women working as domestic workers also participated.
The representative of Kamgar Ekta Chalwal pointed out that the capitalists of India are united in their program to be a world class power and are single-mindedly pursuing it. He pointed out that this is very harmful both to the Indian working class and people as well as to those of other countries. It is imperative that we unite around a program of the working class whose aim would be to reorient the economy to provide for the well-being of all the toilers, instead of maximising the profits of a handful of exploiters. For this we cannot form parliamentary fronts of parties of the bourgeoisie. We need to form a new kind of front in which workers and other toilers as well as their organisations can unite around this program irrespective of differences of region, religion, caste and so on.
May Day was vigorously celebrated in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. Activists of the Communist Ghadar Party of India and the Lok Raj Sangathan had vigorously prepared for the May Day celebrations, putting up posters all across the district. On the morning of May Day, Party activists hoisted the red flag and held meetings in a number of places in this district — Puthan Sandhai, Kaliyal, Arumanai, Kunjalu Villai, Kadaiyalumoodu, Mookootukal and Palukuzhi.
In the evening a public May Day rally was held at Puthan Sandhai. In spite of torrential rains, workers gathered in large numbers to participate in this rally. Speakers explained the serious situation workers and working people of our country are facing due to the intolerable price rise in the recent months. Prices have risen over 30-40%. Big corporations such as Tatas and Ambanis have amassed huge profits making use of this terrible situation. In the recent budget the Congress led UPA government has not shown any concern nor taken any steps to resolve this issue. On the contrary government has actually cut down the subsidy for the Petroleum products and fertilizers. Consequent of this, all round price rise has taken place including transport, agricultural inputs, etc. This has put additional burden on the backs of peasants and other toiling people and they are unable to bear these conditions. At the same time, government has given more concessions and tax breaks for the capitalists to fatten them with more profits. In the face of these attacks, we workers will not keep quiet, but fight, speakers said.
After 63 years of rule, it is a shame that vast sections of our working people are kept uneducated, going hungry and die early due to malnutrition and preventable diseases! Speakers called on the workers to fight for a modern universal Public Distribution System through which all the toilers and tillers can be assured of all items of mass consumption of good quality, adequate quantity, and at affordable price. They demanded immediate moratorium on the debt servicing and nationalization of foreign trade and internal wholesale trade. This can mobilize the necessary funds to provide for all the urgent needs of the workers, they declared. It is the duty of government to provide all the basic rights including employment, food and shelter – education and health care – water and electricity to all people of our country. A government which cannot ensure this has no right to exist, declared the speakers. We workers must lead all other sections of the toiling people to usher in a new political system and process through which the workers and peasants can rule and set the agenda for the entire society. The meeting ended with great amount of optimism and resolve to take forward the struggles of the working class.
Meetings organized by the All India Workers Council
The All India Workers Council organized public meetings in different regions of the country on the occasion of May Day.
In Uttar Pradesh, meetings were organized in Barabanki Industrial Area, Lucknow, Kanpur, Unnao and Faizabad. Thousands of workers working in different industries participated in these meetings. Agricultural workers and poor peasants, intellectuals and cultural activists participated alongside industrial workers in the Barabanki meeting.
On the occasion of May Day, the Workers Council had given four slogans, as well as released a poster and statement calling for struggle to ensure “Same rights and same wages for same work”, “Right to work for every worker”, “Peoples control over the entire natural resources of the country”, and “Proletarian democracy in place of bourgeois democracy”.
According to the All India Workers Council, these slogans contribute to putting working class politics in the center of the political discourse of the country. These slogans reflect the political unity of the working class and its movement. They reflect the struggle of the workers against the anti worker program of globalization through liberalisation and privatization, the struggle against the no holds barred land grab by the corporates, and the deepening democratic striving of the working masses. On these questions, the interests of all sections of the capitalist class clash with those of the working masses.
May Day meetings were also organized in various districts as well as industrial areas of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Colliery workers, textile workers, Leather workers, steel workers, workers in Food Corporation of India, as well as workers in various other sectors including in small industries, participated enthusiastically in these meetings. Agricultural workers and poor peasants also participated in some of these functions. Everywhere, the anger of the toiling masses at the anti worker, anti people policies of the ruling class.
Chhattisgarh — Workers and peasants unite against the attacks of cement multinationals
On May 1, workers and peasants demonstrated under the banner of the “Chhattisgarh Cement Shramik Vikas Manch” at the gates of the Ambuja Cement Plant at Rawan, district Raipur. This plant was acquired by the Swiss multinational cement giant Holcim in 2005. They demanded an end to the illegal encroachment by the company of the commons, grazing land, and village roads of the surrounding villages, permanent jobs to the peasants whose lands had been acquired for the plant, mines, and railway line, and statutory minimum wages to the contract labour employed in the plant. A number of newly elected Panchayati Raj representatives – Janpad Panchayat members and village Sarpanches participated in the rally in which a number of contract workers participated.
At another Holcim plant – the ACC Jamul Cement Works, district Durg, workers and their families held a large procession on April 30 in the workers bastis. A public meeting took place on May 1 and the plant remained closed. “Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh” has been fighting for the regularization of contract workers in this plant. At the Ultratech Cement Plant at Hirmi, 60% workers stayed off work. The workers of Century Cement at Baikunt, district Raipur organized under the independent “Chhattisgarh Cement Karmachari Kalyan Sangh” closed their plant and held a demonstration at Raipur.
The cement workers have pointed out that despite the recommendations of the Cement Wage Board right since 1978 that no contract labour should be employed in cement manufacture, virtually the entire production process is carried out by lowly paid contract workers by maintaining sham paper arrangements showing certain persons as contractors whereas they are no more than glorified supervisors of the company. Through contractualization, workmen are in a condition of perpetual insecurity. The capitalists get away by paying about Rs 90 a day, whereas they would have to pay about Rs 260 a day according to the Cement Wage Board Regulations, if they were regular workers. .
They also pointed out that while the private sector including large monopoly houses and multinational companies make fat super profits, the government company CCI remains closed and these retrenched public sector workers continue to suffer.
In the past year workers in the cement industry of Chhattisgarh have been coming together to form the “Chhattisgarh Cement Shramik Vikas Manch”. The Manch cuts across unions belonging to different federations and includes independent as well as party affiliated unions. Its executive consists of union representatives of 6 cement plants. The Manch has also been fighting on the issues of affected peasants.
Most of the cement plants of Chattisgarh are foreign multinationals. The slogan “down with imperialism” is reverberating amongst the workers in these areas.
Domestic workers in Kanpur raise voice in defence of rights
The Domestic Women Workers Union of Kanpur organized a May Day rally in Kanpur to highlight their concerns. More than 2,500 domestic women workers participated in the march of over 12 km from Ram Lila Maidan to Vikas Bhavan. They demanded they be recognized as workers with rights, including minimum wages and social security.
Workers organized under the banner of NDLF organized a May Day demonstration and rally in Puducheri. More than two thousand workers, including women, children and old people gathered at the central bus stand, took to the streets and blocked the highway traffic with red flags and shouting slogans, exposing the police raj and state terrorism. The march continued for almost 2 hours.