On 9th May 2017 in Kurukshetra, hundreds of activists from the Construction Workers and Mechanics Union held a rousing demonstration in front of the District Collector’s office to protest the anti worker policies of the Haryana government and the Labour Welfare Board. These workers are primarily from the unorganised sector and have been completely excluded from the ambit of government labour laws. The district president of the Union, Kuldeep Singh, regional president, Karnail Singh, district secretary, Devi Dayal, regional secretary, Suresh Kumar, district vice president Chandiram, propaganda secretary, Ishwar Guhana and Usha Kumari led the demonstration.
Construction workers marching in Kurukshetra, Haryana
Speakers said that the current BJP government issues many notifications just as the previous Congress government used to do. But at the field level, these notifications are nowhere to be seen. Providing solar home light systems to registered workers, providing smart cards, bearing of education costs of children such as ITI, medical by the Labour Department, online registration of workers, providing free medical treatment upto 50,000 rupees for registered workers and their family members under the National Health Insurance Scheme are some of the numerous notifications that were issued, however all these are nothing but white lies. In the district of Kurukshetra itself, registration of workers has not been done for more than six months. Schemes and notifications remain limited only to paper and are not actually implemented for the benefit of the people.
Workers have to make endless rounds of government offices even to apply for the benefits of notified schemes. In spite of this, there is no guarantee that they will indeed get the benefits in reality.
The speakers emphasised that workers need to understand that under this capitalist system, governments of every sort are nothing more than committees to manage and protect the interests of capitalists. The speakers unanimously called on workers to recognise that the path to workers’ freedom is the path to fight unitedly for the establishment of a socialist society. They will also have to strive on the path of relentless struggle to fulfil their demands for their rights.
Through a memorandum issued to the Kurukshetra District Collector by the union, they warned the authorities that if they did not stop this foul play with the workers and immediately resolve their demands and issues, the union would be forced to launch a large-scale demonstration.