Dated: July 29, 2015
Delhi Committee (DC) of Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) held a demonstration today at the office of Delhi Government i.e. Delhi secretariat. Hundreds of protesters gathered near ITO flyover at Ring Road and marched towards secretariat. There held flags, banners and placards. At secretariat, they were stopped by police but protesters insisted. The stood right at the gate of Secretariat and raised slogans. Later after lots of scuffle with police the shifted it converted to public meeting. This exposed drama of fight with Delhi police by Delhi Government. The meeting was addressed by Com. Animesh (President, DC, and IFTU), Com. Mrigank (Vice President), Com. Rajesh (Secretary), Com. Jay Prakash (gen. Secy. Delhi State Building and Nirman Kamgar Union), Com. Jharia (Delhi Aspatal Theka KArmchari Union), Com. Umesh (president, Safdarjang Hospital Karmchari Sangharsh Union), Com. Poonam (Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan) and others. Com. Prhalad (Vice-president, IFTU) conducted the proceedings.
The speakers pointed out callousness of the Kejriwal Government towards the problems of Workers of Delhi after assuming the office. All the pre-election promises like abolition of contract system, ensuring minimum wages, eradication of corruption in labour department and police etc. have gone to cold storage. This must be noted that workers particularly private industrial worker has played a very important role in the landslide victory of this government. Labour machinery is as uncaring and corrupt as it was before. Not even 10% factories follow labour laws. Workers are forced to work for meagre Rs. 7000 for 12 hours, even if ESI or PF contribution are deducted, same is not deposited- and this is all with connivance of the labour department.
Delhi has about 2 lacs building and construction workers who work to build tall building wide roads, Metros etc. they have a welfare board which has collected crores of rupees as 1% cess from builders. For two years, facilities like scholarships in schools for children have not been given. In March 2015, Labour Minister Mr. Gopal Rai has promised to release this within 10 days but money is yet to be given. He has spent money for hi fanfare event in Chatrasal Stadium from the money collected but that was only a fan fare.
The real face of this government is evident from the fact that in its own office about 200 workers work on contract and are paid less than minimum wages. This is despite it promised to abolish Contract system. This system has actually eaten up job security and is used openly to flout labour laws in both government and private sector.
Right from the day it assumes office, Modi government has started working on anti-worker changes in labour laws and its implementing machinery. It is reducing 46 labour laws to 5 in name of rationalization, but totally changing the spirit and direction of laws in such a way that owners will not have any binding on hire and fire and in deciding wages and working hours. On the other hand, making of Trade unions and its ability to collective bargaining more difficult and impossible in many cases. Thus leaving worker at the mercy of owner for grievance redressing.
IFTU opposes Modi government as well as Kejriwal government for their anti-worker character and demands from Kejriwal government:
- Minimum wages and other laws be strictly implemented and staff including inspectors be increased in labour offices. 2. ESI and EPF be implemented for all the workers, EPF money should not be invested in share market. 3. There should be exemplary punishment to the owners of the factories in industrial accidents and labour department should assume the responsibility in prosecuting them. 4. Contact labour system be abolished, equal work equal pay be implemented and all the labour laws be implemented for contract workers. 5. All social security for building and construction works be implemented properly and scholarship for the year 2012-13, 2013-14 for the children of these workers be released immediately. 6. The changes in labour laws proposed or passed by Modi government should not be implemented in Delhi as labour is in concurrent list.
In the end speakers called for continue the struggle and make All-India Strike on September 2nd, 2015 a success.