Let us make the September 4 convention of the working class a resounding success!
On July11, 2012, leaders of trade unions met at the headquarters of the BMS in New Delhi and announced a plan of action calling upon the working masses "to intensify the united battle, taking it to a higher form to force the government to change its policies." Towards this end, the resolution adopted by the meeting called upon all the trade unions to start start, with renewed vigour without delay, staging all forms of agitation — protest actions, rallies, and conventions at the local and state levels.
Simultaneously, the unions have announced the decision to hold a national convention at Talkatora stadium in Delhi on September 4, 2012, "to chart out a program of action, reaching a new height and taking the agitation to the grassroots level."
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar considers the decision of the trade unions to step up the united struggle of the class as an extremely timely and necessary. In this connection, it is to be welcomed that the central trade union leaders have recognised that it is necessary to build the widest possible unity of the class in the face of the relentless offensive of the bourgeoisie and the government against the working people in the name of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation. The resolution of the meeting significantly "invites the widest participation of all the trade union activists from ccross the country, including leaders and representatives of different unaffiliated independent unions and federations, turning the convention into the broadest forum of national unity of the workers unleashing resistance … fighting the anti people policies being relentlessly pursued by the government".
The national convention of September 4, 2012 will prepare the next step in the struggle of the working class, the last being the February 28, 2012 all India general strike. The ten point demands raised by the trade unions include enforcing minimum wages for all categories of workers including honorarium workers at not less then Rs 10,000 a month, strict enforcement of labour laws, right of workers to form unions and get registration within a stipulated period of time, mandatory recognition of unions in all establishments, eight hour working period for all categories of workers, same wages for same work for contract workers, against disinvestment and privatisation in any form and name. In addition, the unions have called for effective steps to control inflation and curb recession.
The trade unions have condemned the efforts of the government to cut back on social schemes to an amount equivalent to Rs 90,000 crores, including for schemes like NREGA, ICDS and Pradhan Mantri Sadhak Yojana.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar calls upon all communists and working class activists to work vigorously for the success of the Convention.
It is important for leaders and activists of working class, irrespective of the party or union they belong to today, to understand how and why the bourgeoisie is able to continue to attack the rights of the working class and people, despite knowing that the majority of the population is opposed to these attacks. The main reason lies in the fact that while the bourgeoisie is united around its one program of globalisation through liberalistion and privatisation, the working class is not. Instead, the bourgeoisie has over a whole historical period succeeded in dividing the leaders and activists of the working class and consequently the broad masses of workers, into different unions and organisations affiliated to different parties of the ruling class. As a result, the working class is not united around its own independent program.
The independent program of the working class must include, but not be limited, to raising the demands raised by the unions above. It has to have its central aim, becoming the ruling class in place of the present capitalist class. This is the precondition to enable our class to set the orientation of the economy in the interests of the whole of society, and ensure the well being of all, instead of the well being of the minority at the expense of that of the workers and peasants.
Developing the independent program of the working class will therefore necessarily entail breaking from the shackles that bind us to the political parties of the ruling class, and make us a divided impotent force which is reduced to pleading with those in power, instead of asserting our claims as producers of the wealth of society and taking charge of the affaris of society as our right.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar calls upon all leaders and activists to develop and unite around the independent program of the working class.