Workers protest against anti-working class policies of UPA government

Lakhs of workers all across the length and breadth of the country participated in protest actions against the anti working class policies of the UPA government on March 5, 2010.

Lakhs of workers all across the length and breadth of the country participated in protest actions against the anti working class policies of the UPA government on March 5, 2010.

Trade unions cutting across party lines united in action on this day to protest the massive increase in food prices as well as other attacks on the working people. They demanded immediate steps to reduce skyrocketing food prices, opposed privatization of Public Sector Enterprises, strict measures against violation of labour laws, protection to the agricultural workers and other sections of workers who have been denied any protection under the present labour laws, and social security benefits to all workers through the creation of a national social security fund.

In the capital thousands of workers participated in the rally in front of parliament. They carried red flags in one hand, and placards condemning price rise and privatization on the other hand. The workers roared the slogans “Down with capitalism!”, “Down with privatization!”, “Long live revolution”, etc. Leaders of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee, AITUC, AICCTU, INTUC, BMS, HMS, CITU, UTUC, TUCC and AIUTUC addressed the workers.

The mass protests of workers in our country come in the face of all-sided attacks on the livelihood and rights of workers, peasants and all working people. The massive increase in prices of food commodities has been a huge burden on the working masses. In the name of privatization, the most organized sections of the working class are under attack. Labour laws are being blatantly violated, both in the state sector and private sector, and more and more workers are being hired on contract with no rights. In sum, the working and living conditions of broad mass of workers is under severe attack.

In the countryside, the peasants are being squeezed by increasing cost of production, because of the refusal of the government to provide inputs for agricultural at controlled prices and to procure agricultural produce at remunerative prices. Farmers are increasingly coming under the domination of agricultural trading monopolies, and the financial institutions to which they have become indebted.

The budget proposals presented by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherji clearly show that the UPA government is pursuing a course wherein it will further increase the burden on the workers and peasants and all working people through rising food prices, and prices of all essential commodities, and increase the space for profits for the big capitalists in all spheres, both through privatization, and in the sphere of trade. None of the concerns of the workers and peasant organizations have been addressed. On the contrary, the monies raised through indirect and direct taxes of the working people is being used by the government to fund the unproductive ever increasing military expenditure, repayments of interest and principal to finance capital, maintaining the massive bureaucracy, and for handouts to capitalists in different sectors. Thus workers and peasants are not only being savagely exploited by the capitalists, but they are further burdened with indirect and direct taxes to further reduce the conditions of their existence.

Our Party is organizing workers to take up the struggle to establish a modern universal public distribution system, which will ensure that all essentials of consumption for a worker family —cereals, pulses, sugar, cooking oil, fuel etc are available in adequate quantity, at affordable prices, and of good quality. We are organizing workers and peasants to take up the struggle to ensure that the livelihood of the peasant is protected by immediate measures that ensure that all the inputs for agriculture (seed, fuel, fertilizers and pesticides, power, water, and capital), are guaranteed, available at affordable prices, and there is a guaranteed offtake of the peasants produce at remunerative prices. We are demanding that wholesale trade be brought under social control, so that no private profiteer can be allowed to make monies in trade in agricultural produce between the countryside and towns. We are demanding that there be a cutback on unproductive military expenditure and a moratoriumn debt servicing and monies saved must be spent to establish a modern universal public distribution system under social control, by nationalization and socialization of wholesale trade in agricultural produce.

The mass protests of workers all across the country show that the working class is ready for militant struggle in defence of its rights. This is the time for communists to organize workers in factories and workplaces, and in residential areas and in industrial areas, to take up one of the key elements of the immediate program of the working class of fighting for a modern universal public distribution system under social control.

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