The ECR Zonal meeting of All India Guard Council (AIGC) was held at Gomoh, Dhanbad Division, Jharkand, on 12th February 2020.
Delivering the inaugural speech, the President of AIGC pointed out that the Indian Railways is being handed over to the big capitalists. He said that Guards need to join with loco running staff and other rail workers to fight this. This unity will strengthen our struggle. The unity of rail workers with other sections of the working class will force the rail authorities to reverse privatisation.
He announced that the AIGC, along with other rail organisations, will organise a one day dharna at Jantar Mantar against privatisation. Guards cannot limit their struggle to wage increase only but must join with all other fighting sections of Indian working class to oppose privatisation of railways and privatisation of other public sector enterprises. He said that in 1853 Karl Marx had said that railways will open the path for revolution in India. The Governments attempts at privatisation of rail will unite all rail workers and this will open the path for revolution in India and the railway workers will be at the front of this movement.
At this meeting the representative of All India Loco Running staff Association (AILRSA) said that the authorities are moving on fast track in the interests of the Indian capitalists and they are also implementing anti worker policies. They started by privatisation of two trains and now they have announced a list of 150 trains to be privatised. He said that if we do not oppose this now then they will privatise all the operations. There is an urgent necessirty to fight unitedly. AILRSA will unite with AIGC and have a joint demonstration.
The representative of Kamgar Ekta Committee(KEC) , Comrade K.kumar saluted the assembled guards and said we are holding this meeting at a time when the rail authorities are going full speed on privatisation. He called on the assembled workers to follow in the footsteps of their own revolutionary Birsa Munda who was hanged by the British. Com. Kumar talked of the many struggles waged by the workers and peasants that have taken place across the country such as a peasants “long march” from Nasik to Mumbai and the demonstration by lakhs of workers in Azad Maidan to protest Governments policies. On January 8th 2020, all over India , 25 crore workers went on strike, demanding minimum wage of Rs 21000 per month and employment for all. He said that the people of Jharkand, Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh are hardworking and honest. Their hard work has kept the railways running. The Indian Railways everyday transports 2.4 crores people which is equal to the entire population of Australia. In spite of such hard work done by the rail workers, the rail authorities do not care about the rail workers. He said that it is from these areas that the 1857 Ghadar broke out to overthrow the British and the rebels united irrespective of religion and caste. The times are calling on the peoples of these regions to again take up the call to unite to overthrow the kale angrez. He concluded with the call to all the workers to read the Mazdoor Ekta Lehar, a paper that has contributed to building the unity of the working class by reporting workers and peasants’ struggles since the last 40 years.