A joint conference of the trade unions of Delhi was held on 2nd June 2018 at the AITUC Bhavan located on Deendayal Upadhyay road. More than 140 representatives of different trade unions participated in the conference. Representatives from unions related to Transport, Health services and Municipal Corporation of Delhi and others were also present. The atmosphere of the conference was very enthusiastic.
The convention was chaired by Anurag Saxena, Raja Ram, Santosh Rai, Rishipal, Rakesh Kumar, Mohan Kumar and Com. Birju Nayak. While addressing the conference, Rishipal of INTUC said that the Central and Delhi Governments are working for the capitalists. He talked about the poor working conditions of the contract workers. He severely criticised the government for not implementing the minimum wage act. He raised the issue of municipal corporation employees not getting their salaries on time.
Com. Tapan from CITU said that a joint struggle is the need of the hour. He stressed that only our combined struggles can force the government to implement the declared minimum wage act. He gave the example of the 16 day strike that was organised by the municipal corporation employees of Haryana and that they won their demands through unrelenting struggle. Legally any government can deprive the workers of their rights, but the working class has to continuously fight against in order to win back their rights. He urged that the message of upcoming strike be taken to every corner in Delhi. It should not only reach the industrial belts but also the areas where workers live. He ended his talk by saying that he hopes this struggle will be a big success.
Com. Rajendra Singh of the Hind Mazdoor Sabha said that the anti-worker policies of the government are an attack on the workers and their unions. He said that we would need to organise the working class to fight against the anti-worker policies.
Com. Dhirendra Sharma of AITUC said that constitutions mentions what the living wage should be. On the contrary the government talks about ‘minimum’ wage, and denies the workers even that much. He also brought out the fact that for the same amount and type of work women are paid much less compared to men and that such discriminations do exist. In the labor department, there are very few employees and officers in proportion to the workers. The Government does not fill these vacant seats. He stressed on the fact that we will have to change these conditions through our continuous struggles.
Com. Abhishek of AICCTU said that the chief minister of Delhi makes big and fancy announcements, but none of those are ever implemented on the ground. Com. Usha from Seva foundation talked about the conditions of household workers. Com. Santosh Kumar of Mazdoor Ekta Committee said that a worker struggles from birth to death, first for food, then for education, then to get a job, then to save that job and then to get his/her pension. He stated that all the laws that consider the lives of workers today are there because of the struggles that were led by the working class in the past. He said that first the workers fight to have these laws passed, then they struggle to save them and then again fight to get them implemented. Such is the state of the system that runs our country. All the institutions like Judiciary, Legislative and Executive, that are a part of the current system are together responsible for the increasing exploitation of the working class. He took an example of the Hindi Phrase “Jiski Laathi, uski Bhens” (Whoever owns the stick eventually owns his buffalo). He explained that the stick is not in the hands of the working class, instead it is in the hands of the capitalist class. Hence, the working class cannot imagine that the buffalo will give milk, they can only arrange for its fodder. Meaning to say that we cannot expect justice from a system where ‘might is right’ and justice is dependent on our struggles. He stressed that we will have to become the rulers of our country. We will have to work to establish the rule of workers and peasants in our country, apart from fighting for our immediate rights.
Com. Ramji Singh of AIUTUC, Com. Shatrujeet Singh of UTUC, Shri. Jawahar of LPF and Com. Gaurav of TUCC also spoke at the conference.
Addressing the conference all the speakers enthusiastically supported the proposal for call for strike on 20th July. All the representatives present in the conference agreed to be a part of the strike and make it a success. It was unanimously decided in the conference that a strike will be organised on 20th July in Delhi and a powerful demonstration would be held against the Delhi Government on 27th July. In preparation for the two events, joint conferences in different parts of Delhi will be organised.