Struggle for Rights

Efforts for water conservation

Johad which is situated in the Holika Chawk of Ramgad village in Rajasthan has been struggling with garbage issues for very long. On 14th July 2019, the residents of the village began efforts to conserve water on their own. Lok Jan Samiti, Ramgad Seva Samiti, Gram Vikas Committee, and a large number of residents of the village participated in efforts to clean up the garbage in the area. As part of the campaign the residents of the village are ensuring that they contribute by ensuring that plants are grown and taken care of in public spaces, rain water is collected, growing pollution is prevented and cleanliness is maintained in Johad.


Strategic alliance with US:A grave threat to the sovereignty of India and peace in Asia

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited India between June 25-27, 2019. This was the first visit of a senior most official of the US adminstration after the return to power of the BJP with a massive majority in the recent elections. During this visit, Pompeo held discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. The visit was publicly announced as aimed at resolving problems in Indo-US relations, and strengthening the strategic military alliance between the two countries.


BSNL workers protest countrywide

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) employees protested across the country on 26th June 2020 under the banner of the BSNL Employees Union (BSNLEU).

They demanded that the government should take immediate steps to revive the corporation. This included rolling out of 4G services and implementation of the revival package. This package of Rs.69,000 crore was announced by the government in November 2019, in response to continuous struggles by the employees.


Terrible conditions of health care:

Services are denied to people in dire need

The Corona virus pandemic raging over the past three months has revealed the abysmal condition of our health care system. In the top metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and other cities, chronically ill people, pregnant women and Covid affected who are seeking admission in hospitals are being turned away. These people, in dire need of hospitalisation, are then forced to run desperately from one hospital to yet another and to yet another! Several of them have died in the ambulance or at home or in the hospital bed that they finally manage to get.


Sathankulam custodial deaths:

Another grotesque exposure of the repressive police system of the Indian State

The people of Tamilnadu and the rest of India have been shocked by the horrendous custodial murder of father and son, Mr. Jayaraj (59) and Mr. Immanuel Bennicks (31), who were residents of Sathankulam town panchayat in Thoothukudi district. The brutality of the torture and the impunity with which the police higher ups are trying to cover up the murder has met with tremendous opposition by people all across the country.


Ordinances to liberalise agricultural produce marketing:

Establishing domination of trading monopolies over farmers and their produce

On 5th June 2020, the President of India promulgated the two ordinances passed by the Union Cabinet two days earlier - 'The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020' and ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020’. The Union Cabinet had also approved an amendment to the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) on 3rd June.


Farmers and agricultural workers oppose ordinances in favour of big corporates


Farmers and their organisations across the country have strongly opposed the two ordinances on agriculture promulgated by the government. They have also opposed the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act.


University teachers and students oppose MHRD decision to conduct on-line examinations

Teachers and students of universities across the country are opposing the decision of the central government’s Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to conduct on-line examinations for students at the end of the academic year 2019-2020. Many of the country’s top universities have announced such a decision. Several protests have been held in the past few weeks during the COVID-19 lockdown, with teachers and students demonstrating in different parts of the country, holding banners and placards.

More and More Track Maintainers are falling victim to Corona!

Rail Authorities must take the necessary preventive steps and protect the track maintainers!

Statement of All India Guards Council (AIGC), All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA), All India Station Masters Association (AISMA), All India Traffic Controllers Association (AITCA), All India Rail Track Maintainers Union (AIRTU), All India Railway Employees Confederation (AIREC) - Western Railway, Central Railway Track Maintainers Union (CRTU), Indian Railway Signal and Telecom Maintainers Association (IRS&TMA) and Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC).


Struggles in defence of rights

Health Worker Panchkula
  • Health workers of Haryana oppose retrenchment
  • Fee hike in medical colleges opposed
  • Protest of NFL workers
  • Peasants in Punjab oppose electricity charges
  • Railway guards’ protest
  • Tag:   

    Public hospitals are bearing the burden but government policy is oriented towards private hospitals and insurance companies

    The present crisis has exposed the gross inadequacy of the public health system

    It has exposed private hospitals as useless in the struggle against this virus

    Yet the government pursues privatisation instead of investing in public health care


    Recommendations of the Joint Covid-19 Task Force

    The Joint COVID-19 Task Force, consisting of experts of the Indian Public Health Association (IPHA), the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM) & the Indian Association of Epidemiologists (IAE), issued a second statement on the Covid-19 pandemic in India, on May 25, 2020.

    MEL is reproducing the statement in PDF format.

    Download PDF Joint-Statement-of-IPHA-IAPSM-and-IAE


    Widespread opposition in Britain to government’s loosening of lockdown

    On June 10, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the loosening of coronavirus lockdown despite large scale opposition from four biggest trade unions and many local authorities. The first ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have refused to implement the new policy. The government has changed its slogan from “Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save lives” to “Stay Alert, Defeat Coronavirus and Save Lives”.

    From our readers: US imperialist interference in our region poses a grave danger

    I wish to write a few lines about the article, “Resolutely oppose US interference” that appeared in the June 1, 2020 issue of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar. This article is very appropriate, right and timely. It explains very well how US imperialism has destroyed many countries for its narrow self-interest and for that it has used diverse means such as regime change, ”pro-democracy” movements, false promises of people’s freedom, and so on.

    Nurses and doctors in Mumbai demand better facilities

    In the last two months more than 200 healthcare workers in Mumbai have been infected by the Covid-19 virus due to inadequate personal protection equipment. Both doctors and nurses have been working for weeks together without any break due to increasing number of infections. Yet, they are not provided proper food and water. There has been no improvement in their condition despite a number of representations.


    Doctors in KEM Hospital, Mumbai highlight inhuman working conditions in treating Covid-19 patients

    Nurses at Mumbai's civic-run KEM Hospital protested demanding a separate ward for colleagues infected by the Covid-19

    The Resident Doctors’ Association of King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital in Mumbai has highlighted the inhuman conditions in which the doctors treating Covid-19 patients are compelled to work, in an open letter to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.


    Health workers at risk agitate for safe working conditions


    Workers of KEM Hospital, Mumbai held a protest dharna at the hospital premises on May 26, from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They were protesting against the death of a fellow worker two days ago, due to callousness of the hospital authorities.


    Workers around the world fight for their rights during the Covid-19 Lockdown


    Doctors and nurses staged a silent but powerful protest on May 17, against the decree of the Belgian government to use untrained nursing staff in health care services. 

    During a visit of the Belgian Prime Minister Ms Sophie Wilmès to the Saint Peter hospital in Brussels, doctors and nurses lined up in rows on either side of the hospital entrance and each of them turned their back on her as her car approached the hospital entrance. This silent but very forceful protest has been widely publicised.


    Workers across the country oppose attacks on their rights

    Defence Employees Against Corporatisation

    Workers from different sectors all over the country have organised dharnas, demonstrations and other protest actions, to express their strong opposition to the pro-capitalist amendments in labour laws and the all-sided attacks on the rights of the working class, that the government is trying to implement, using the pretext of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.


    Doctors and health workers protest government’s changed quarantine guidelines

    On May 22, doctors and health workers treating COVID-19 patients across the country protested against the revised quarantine guidelines issued by the Centre and the health departments of some states. It may be recalled that on May 15, the health ministry changed the quarantine rules for healthcare workers working in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, to state that the health workers should be quarantined only in case of “high risk exposure” or if a worker reported symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. According to the old guidelines, all workers were advised a 14-day quarantine after 14 days’ COVID-19 duty.

    Health and sanitation workers in Amaravati protest non-payment of wages for past 4 months

    Sanitation workers in Amaravati

    Nearly 550 health and sanitation workers employed on contract by the APCRDA (AP Capital Region Development Authority) in the Amaravati capital region of Andhra Pradesh held protest demonstrations on May 22. They are demanding payment of wages due to them for the last 4 months.


    Increasing monopoly capitalist loot in the name of boosting peasant incomes

    On 15th May, Finance Minister Sitharaman announced a “Rupees 1,50,000 crore package” and various policy changes in the name of helping agricultural growth.  Prime Minister Modi claimed that it would boost the incomes of peasants.  A close examination of these measures shows that they do not address the dire need of peasants for immediate relief at this time.  On the contrary, the financial package and the policy reforms are both aimed at expanding the space for capitalist companies to increase their loot of the peasants. 

    Let us resolutely and unitedly fight back the onslaught on our rights!

    Call of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee, May 18, 2020

    Comrade workers,

    The capitalist class is using the state of emergency declared by the Central government in the name of the Coronavirus pandemic to unleash an unprecedented onslaught on our rights.

    India is confronted with a disaster of massive proportions. Crores of workers have lost their jobs, their source of livelihood as a result of the declaration of country wide lockdown which is about to complete two months. Crores of hungry, unemployed workers, deprived of a roof over their heads, are marching towards their villages thousands of miles away, through fields, forests, rail tracks and highways. Hundreds of men, women and children have died on the way, as a result of hunger, exhaustion or in accidents.


    Central Trade Unions to Fight Back Attempts of Draconian Changes in Labour Laws

    Nationwide Protest on 22nd May 2020

    Joint Press Statement by Central Trade Unions released on 15th May 2020

    The joint platform of Central Trade Unions in their meeting held on 14th May 2020 took note of the critical situation for the working people in the country during the Lock down period and decided to enhance united actions to meet the challenge. 


    In the midst of the Lockdown:

    Workers across the country resist attacks on their livelihood and rights

    On May 12 the UP government announced its decision to abolish various allowances to the state government employees, as part of its “austerity measures” during the coronavirus pandemic.

    According to the government order, which is likely to affect nearly 1.6 million state government employees, at least 6 allowances including city compensation allowance, various special allowances to secretariat staff and police personnel, allowances for junior engineers and public works personnel, allowances to employees of the irrigation department, will be abolished from this month. As part of the austerity drive, the UP government had decided just last month to suspend any increase in dearness allowance to state employees for a period of one and a half years.


    Workers struggles worldwide continue during the pandemic


    The ongoing pandemic worldwide has created more difficult situations for the working people. The capitalists are trying to ensure that their profits can remain intact by pushing the burden of the health crisis too on to the backs of the workers. Workers are fighting for their rights, for the right to a life of dignity, for their right to livelihoods, for their right to safe working conditions during the ongoing health emergency. We bring you a report of some of the valiant struggles waged by workers in recent weeks.


    Peasants express their anger at the lack of timely procurement

    In many states across the country, including Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Punjab, peasants have poured thousands of litres of milk and dumped rotting fruits and vegetables on the roads.  This goes against the traditional conviction that “Kisan apne liye paida nahin karta aur apna paida kiya kabhi nasht nahin karta” (peasants do not produce for themselves nor ever destroy what they have produced).  It shows their heightened anger at the central and state governments for not organising timely procurement of their produce during the Covid-19 lockdown.

     Workers killed on their way home:

    Inhuman System and Insensitive State

    Early in the morning of 16th May, at least 24 workers were killed and several others severely injured when the trucks in which they were traveling collided in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh, about 200 km from Lucknow. This is the latest in a series of accidents in which workers have been killed while desperately trying to reach their homes.  


    Gas leak in Vishakhapatnam plant kills a dozen people


    A major gas leak took place in a Vishakhapatnam chemical plant in Andhra Pradesh. It is reported that Styrene gas leaked out of from LG Polymers India plant in Venkatapuram area of the city late night at 3 AM on 7th May 2020, when people were still in the middle of their sleep. At least 12 people are known to have died directly due to gas exposure. It is estimated that some 5000 people became sick due to exposure to the gas. Between 500 and 800 had to be hospitalized.


    Statement of Mazdoor Ekta Committee, 10th May 2020

    Resolutely combat the plans of the bourgeoisie to intensify the exploitation of workers using the Coronavirus pandemic as an excuse!

    Unite to establish a society that will guarantee the well-being of workers!

    India’s biggest capitalists are announcing several plans to intensify the exploitation of workers in the coming days even as the country is going through the Coronavirus pandemic.

    In the name of “overcoming the economic crisis arising out of the pandemic” the central government and various state governments – Punjab, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and others – have suspended the existing labour laws for the next three years and have announced many exemptions to the capitalists with the intent of intensifying the exploitation of the workers.


    Condemn laws allowing 12-hour shift

    The capitalist class has launched a massive onslaught on the rights of workers of our country. In the conditions of the declaration of a health emergency accompanied by a country wide lock down, it is ramrodding one anti worker measure after another down the throats of the working class. One of the most basic rights of workers has been the limiting of the working day to 8 hours, and the working week to 48 hours, which is codified in the Factories Act, 1948. Over the past one month, one state government after another, irrespective of which party is in power in the state, has been passing ordinances extending the working day to 12 hours and the working week to 72 hours.

    The Electricity Act Amendment draft Bill is not in the interests of people


    The Ministry of Power (MoP) has issued a draft Bill on 17th April 2020 for amendment of the Electricity Act 2003, inviting comments, suggestions, and objections by 8th May, 2020.


    Government must procure foodgrains from farmers at minimum support prices!

    On 30 April 2020, farmers led by Lok Raj Sangathan in Ramgarh, Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan submitted a memorandum to the District Collector through the Naib Tehsildar. They demanded that the state government should purchase grains from farmers of Ramgarh sub tehsil at the minimum support price.


    Condition of Nursing Aid Workers

    Mazdoor Ekta Lehar (MEL) took an interview on the condition of Nursing Aid and Security workers in Tamil Nadu Government hospitals with Comrade Tha Sivakumar. He is the Legal Advisor of the Tamilnadu Government Hospitals Auxiliary works Workers Union affiliated to Central Organization of Indian Trade Unions (COITU).  Following is the summary of the interview.

    Stranded daily-wage workers must not be treated like bonded labour!

    When the Union government decided to partially relax the lockdown to resume economic activities in parts of the country from 20 April, it issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on 19 April for lakhs of workers stranded all over the country. The SOP read, “Due to the spread of COVID-19 virus, workers employed in industry, agriculture, construction and other sectors have moved from their respective places of work, and are housed in relief/shelter camps being run by State/ UT governments.

    White alert to the nation

    The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded that the government take immediate steps to stop violence against doctors.

    "The Covid 19 has only made us acutely aware of our helplessness against mindless abuse and violence. Stigma and social boycott are everywhere. Harassment by administration is nothing but violence by the State. Our patience and restraint are signs of strength.Our legitimate needs for safe workplaces have to be met. Abuse and Violence should stop immediately."

    Download PDF


    IMA warns retaliation if cremations are obstructed

    IMA HQ takes serious note of the incidents in Chennai where the cremation of doctors have been obstructed. It is a matter of great concern that these doctors who had died in their line of duty be treated shabbily and in such an uncivilised manner. Even more shocking is the utter helplessness of the state Government in preventing such incidents. If the Governments do not have power to stop such incidents they lose their moral right to govern.

    Download PDF


    Indian capitalists do not want daily-wage workers to go back to their homes!

     On 14th April more than 2000 workers gathered near Bandra railway station in Mumbai, demanding trains to go home. In the condition of lockdown wherein social- distancing has been mandated by the Central government and various local authorities, this was a considered to be a “major crime” for which the workers were lathi charged. Some were even taken in police custody. The capitalist mass media attacked them viciously as “anti-social” people.


    Arresting persons for their ideology is an attack on the Right to Conscience

    It is a matter of great concern when people are arrested for their political stands and ideological beliefs.  Recent months have seen thousands of people being arrested for having participated in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which links citizenship with one’s religious belief.  Arrests of people for allegedly spreading “anti-national” ideas are continuing even in the midst of the lockdown to fight coronavirus. 


    ​​​​​​​Blaming Muslims for spreading corona virus is extremely harmful

    There is no doubt that the struggle to overcome the crisis created by coronavirus requires the highest possible level of responsibility and unity among Indian people. Crores of workers are toiling hard at great risk to their own lives.  These include the doctors, nurses and other health workers as well as workers in railways, banking, sanitation and other sectors involved in supplying essential goods and services. 

    Conditions of Workers during the Lockdown

    Cases of Rail, Bank and Sanitation workers

    Ever since the all-India lockdown which began on 24th March, the conditions of workers in different sectors have been catching the attention of the people.  On one side are those who are suffering because they have no work.  On the other side are those who are working hard to maintain supply of essential goods and services. 

    COVID-19 — Nurses of Mumbai hospitals raise their concerns

    Jan Swasthya Abhiyan and  Nurses organisations  raised the concerns of frontline workers in the fight against  COVID -19 with the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai. Mazdoor Ekta Lehar had previously carried an interview with a leader of the Nurses Union highlighting the problems nurses face in the current situation. Below we are publishing the letter of Mumbai Nurses to the Municipal Commisioner of Mumbai. 

    Download PDF  


    Nurses are braving the COVID-19 crisis in the face of heavy odds

    Nurses are among the frontline health workers, working heroically to deliver essential medical services to people during the current COVID-19 outbreak. It is impossible to imagine any kind of medical service in the hospital without the services rendered by the nurses.

    Mazdoor Ekta Lehar (MEL) spoke to RJ, a leading member of the United Nurses Association of India, about the conditions of nurses in our country in general and the particular difficulties they are facing at this time. We reproduce below excerpts of the interview:


    COVID-19 crisis:

    Health workers risk their lives

    Across the country, doctors, paramedics, nurses, technicians, ASHA workers, ambulance drivers and helpers, and other health workers have been working day and night to take care of patients suspected to have been infected with coronavirus.  They have been risking their lives, having had to administer services to possibly infected patients without or with very inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE).


    Rights of People and Duties of the State

    Over ten days have passed since the 21-day lockdown announced by the Government of India, to contain the spread of Coronavirus.  The experience of this first week of the lockdown has brought to light many problems that need to be tackled on a war footing.  It is a common struggle which requires the participation of all the people.  It requires effective leadership by the government. 

    Those who work can perform their duty only if their rights are fulfilled.  It is the duty of the State to ensure that workers’ rights are protected in the course of fighting against the virus.  


    Preventive Detention – An Anti-Democratic feature of the Indian Constitution

    One of the principles of modern democracy is that no citizen can be arrested by the State without cause.  This principle is violated by the Indian State on a widespread scale. The Constitution permits the legislature to enact laws providing for preventive detention.  The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the National Security Act (NSA) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) are examples of central laws which permit arbitrary arrest and detention of people by the official security forces. There are also numerous state level laws, such as the Public Safety Acts and Acts that claim to target organised crime, which are also used for Preventive Detention.


    Enthusiastic rally in Delhi to mark International Women’s Day

    International Women's Day 2020 Delhi

    Hundreds of women activists from nearly 20 organisations as well as individual activists, school and university students, cultural activists, lawyers, nurses, teachers, homemakers and women from diverse professions participated in a spirited International Women’s Day rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on March 8, 2020.


    Solidarity with the victims of violence in Delhi:

    People of Hindu faith in Pakistan cancel Holi celebrations

    People of the Hindu community in Pakistan organized a protest on 8th March 2020, in solidarity with the victims of state organized attacks in Delhi last month. They announced that they would celebrate this year’s Holi festival on 10th March, with sobriety as a message of protest against the violence perpetrated on their Muslim brethren in India.


    Protest in Ludhiana against state-organized violence in Delhi

    Thousands of people from more than a dozen organisations of industrial and agricultural workers, peasants, youth and students, etc. held a protest rally on March 10, at the Jalandhar by-pass in Ludhiana, to protest against the CAA, NRC and NPR, as well as the recent state organized violence on Muslims in Delhi.


    March by Delhi trade unions against the anti-worker budget

    Trade unions of Delhi organised a joint rally from Bank of Baroda in Connaught Place to Jantar Mantar in the country’s capital Delhi on 2nd March 2020 against the Union Budget presented by the central government. The rally was awash with red banners and flags.


    Guest teachers of NCT of Delhi:

    We shape the new generation but our own future is uncertain

    Guest teachers working in schools under the government of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi have been agitating for the past several years, for regular appointments and better salaries and working conditions. At present, there are more than 20,000 guest teachers working in different government schools all over the NCT of Delhi.


    Lawyers in Delhi protest against state organized violence

    Hundreds of lawyers held a militant protest march from Supreme Court to Jantar Mantar on March 6. The lawyers were protesting against the recent state-organised violence and terror in Delhi, in the last week of February, specifically targeting the Muslim community...


    International Women’s Day 2020:

    Red Salute to the Fighting Women of India!

    Onward with the Struggle for People’s Empowerment!

    Call of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, 1st March, 2020

    As we approach 8th March, International Women’s Day this year, lakhs of Indian women are out on the streets. They include young and old, mothers with infants in arms, grandmothers, students and teachers.


    Continuing protests against CAA-NRC across the country


    The protests against the CAA is carrying on unabated in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh and several other locations despite the horror of the four days of brutality on the people of Jaffrabad and other areas of north east Delhi.


    Militant demonstration against the anti-worker and anti-peasant Budget 2020

    Protest against budget

    Left and Communist Parties organised a rally from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar in the country’s capital city of Delhi on 18th February to protest against the Union Budget 2020. CPI, CPM, CPI(M-L), All India Forward Block, RSP and Communist Ghadar Party of India organised this rally under the banner “Mass Protest Against the Anti-people Budget”.


    Convention of petroleum workers in Kochi: Petroleum workers oppose privatisation of BPCL


    On 9th of February, around a hundred delegates from all over India representing the three Petroleum and Gas Workers Federations assembled at Kochi for a delegates’ conference. This Conference was the fourth conference in a row to oppose privatisation of BPCL after the earlier conferences in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.


    Protest of Rajasthan state government employees

    RJ state employees

    State government employees organisations, under the banner of the Akhil Rajasthan Karamchari Samyukt Mahasangh, organised protest meetings all across the state on 27th February at the offices of the district authorities


    Guest teachers struggle in the National Capital Region: We mould the new generation yet our own future is uncertain


    Mazdoor Ekta Lehar (MEL) talked to Dr. Rachna who is a post-graduate guest teacher in the National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi-NCR) and who has been leading the struggle of guest teachers in this region. We are presenting below a highlight of the discussion.


    March and meeting by rail drivers in Delhi: We shall intensify our struggle to stop privatisation

    Rail drivers dharna

    Under the leadership of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA), thousands of engine drivers marched from Ambedkar Bhavan to Jantar Mantar in Delhi on 19th February 2020. Many engine drivers had come with their families


    Equal pay for equal work: Strike by contract teachers in 74,000 schools in Bihar


    Under the banner of Bihar Rajya Sikshak Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti (BRSSSS - Bihar State Teachers' Struggle Coordination Committee), 3,75,000 contract teachers in Bihar are on strike from 17th February 2020.


    Primary school teachers' agitation


    The All India Primary Teachers Federation (AIPTF) and its Delhi branch, the Akhil Delhi Prathmik Shikshak Sangh (ADPSS) held a protest dharna at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on February 21, 2020, to highlight their demands and pledge to continue the struggle


    Demonstration against price rise of cooking gas

    Jan sangharsh manch

    The Jan Sangharsh Manch, Haryana held a demonstration to oppose the hefty hike in cooking gas prices in front of the office of the District Collector of Kurukshetra, Haryana. Through the Deputy Collector a petition for the Prime Minister was submitted to the the DRO of Kurukshetra.


    Applicants for jobs in Indian Railway sit on dharna

    Applicants for railways jobs

    Applicants who had applied for jobs in the Indian Railway against one lakh openings sat on a dharna in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi from 2nd March 2020. They are demanding that recruitment process should be commenced immediately. In this context, they submitted a petition to the Rail Minister, Piyush Goel.


    Anti-CAA protests continue across the country and abroad

    4 Feb 2020, Koderma, Jharkhand

    15th February will mark 10 weeks of unabated protests across the country against the CAA-NRC. What is significant is the hundreds of women who are actively participating day in and day out in these protests.


    Bihar sanitation workers on strike

    Bihar Sanitation workers

    The workers of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) and safai karamcharis who clean the city every day to keep it free from stink and rot are on strike against the attempts of the government’s decision to remove them instead of regularising their jobs.


    Demand for wage revision: Bank unions across India go on 2-day strike

    2-Day bank strike

    Bank unions across the county went on strike in 31st January and 1st February 2020, after wage revision talks with the Indian Banks Association (IBA) failed. Wage revision in the sector has been pending since November 2017.


    Growing mass protests and the lying propaganda of the Government

    New Delhi on 29 January 2020

    Mass protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens have entered their 8th week.  They are attracting increasing support within India and abroad, in spite of the lies, slanders, sedition charges and police violence unleashed against the protestors.


    Protests against CAA-NRC continue across the Globe


    On 26th January 2020, on the 71st anniversary of the Indian Republic, protest demonstrations took place in many cities of the US where thousands of people of Indian origin participated. Demonstrations were held particularly in New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and San Francisco having Indian consulates, and at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC. Many other demonstrations took place in other parts of the world.


    Massive rally in London demands repeal of CAA and withdrawal of NRC

    London march

    Thousands of people gathered at the British House of Commons (British Parliament), near the residence of the British Prime Minister on Downing Street at the start of a militant march to the Indian High Commission in Holborn, London.


    Brutal police attack on electricity workers in Patna

    20200127_Electricity workers Patna

    On 27th January 2020, the electricity workers held a demonstration outside the Vidyut Bhavan in Patna, the capital city of Bihar to oppose the privatisation of electric supply. The government is planning to go ahead with privatisation dispite strong opposition of the workers.


    Successful All India General Strike of workers


    Workers and working people from all sectors of the Indian economy participated enthusiastically in the All India General Strike of January 8, 2020. They were responding to the call of the central trade unions, the All India federations, and to hundreds of trade unions organising workers in different cities, industries and services, and amongst the rural workers.


    Reports of the All India General Strike from across India

    Mumbai bank employees

    All India General Strike saw more than 25 crore workers and peasants come out on to the streets. We received reports from Mumbai, Delhi, Nohar (Rajasthan), Mumbai and Ambikapur (Chhattisgarh). Brief reports are given below.


    Western Railway workers oppose private trains

    Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh (WRMS) organised a protest on 10th January at Mumbai Central station to oppose the privatisation and outsourcing of Railway trains on outside the office of the Divisional Railway Manager. The meeting was addressed by J G Mahurkar general secretary of Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh (WRMS) and Vice President of NFIR (National Federation of Indian Railwaymen).

    Track maintainers of Indian Railways protest deteriorating working conditions and privatization of railways

    Trackmen's meeting in Junagarh

    On 2nd December 2019, All India Trackmaintainers’ Union (AIRTU) held its divisional meeting at Junagarh, Gujarat. The meeting was addressed by AIRTU leaders and Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) representatives. The station was reverberating with militant slogans of Mazdoor Ekta Zindabad and Mahila Shakti Zindabad.


    Honda workers' struggle: Workers of Gurugram and Rewari stand in solidarity

    Honda workers

    Several thousand workers across a dozen manufacturing units between Gurugram and Bawal responded to the call of the Trade Union Council (joint council of all trade unions in this industrial belt) on 17th December to stand shoulder to shoulder with the striking contract workers of Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Ltd.  The workers boycotted lunch in their own units to express solidarity with the Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) Limited contractual workers.


    Condemn the state terror in Uttar Pradesh


    Uttar Pradesh has exploded in anger against the Citizenship Amendment Act ever since 12th December when the Bill was passed. However, people have spilt out on the streets in huge numbers  and protesting peacefully, demanding that the government should immediately repeal this most reactionary, communal and divisive Act.


    Workers all over the country prepare to escalate their struggles in defence of their rights!


    The National Open Mass Convention of workers, that was held on 30th September 2019 in New Delhi, gave the call for an All India general strike on 8th January 2020. Trade Unions and workers’ organisations across the country are mobilising their forces in response to this call. The working class and large sections of working people have been up in arms right through 2019 in defence of their rights and against the attacks on their right to organize, to security of livelihood, to quality public education and health. The move of the bourgeoisie to privatize public sector units and sell off national wealth for a song to the biggest Indian and foreign monopolies is being militantly resisted.


    On the 27th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid:

    Dec 6 rally

    Thousands march in New Delhi demanding justice and punishment for the guilty

    From 2.00 pm on December 6, people started gathering at Mandi House Chowk in New Delhi. They came from all parts of the city. They were young girls and boys in their teens, as well as older men and women. They were people following different religious beliefs. They spoke different languages. They had come to boldly express their determination to safeguard the unity and solidarity of our people and oppose the divide and rule policy of the ruling class.


    Fire in Anaj Mandi kills 43 people: An indictment of this man-eating capitalist system

    Fire in factory in Delhi where 43 workers died

    What happened in the early hours of Sunday 8th December was a gruesome tragedy. Forty-three sleeping workers were burnt or suffocated by smoke as their workplace north Delhi’s Anaj Mandi area caught fire.


    Horrendous fire disaster in Delhi: Delhi unions hold memorial meeting

    Memorial meeting

    At dawn on 8th December 2019, 43 workers were killed in a fire that swept the 4-storey factory located in Anaj Mandi on Rani Jhansi Road. Large number of workers was injured in the fire. A memorial was held in front of Filmistan Cinema on Rani Jhansi Road on 11th December 2019 to remember the victims of the factory fire.


    General strike in France against cutbacks in pensions

    >French workers country-wide strike

    A country-wide General Strike has hit France.  On 5th December 2019, the first day of the indefinite strike, 800,000 workers are reported to have marched on the streets of Paris.  All schools were closed and all public transport came to a standstill from 5th to11th December.  


    Preparations for All India General Strike in full swing: Workers’ organisations hold rallies and meetings

    Mobilization of workers in Delhi

    Preparations for the January 8 All India General Strike of workers are in full swing. On 5th and 6th December 2019, tens of thousands of construction workers from different states of the country gathered in front of Parliament to protest against the attacks on their hard won rights. They resolved in one voice to vigorously work for the success of the All India General Strike of workers on 8th January 2020.


    Stepping up preparations for the All India General Strike: Trade unions and workers organisations in Maha-rashtra hold convention

    TUJAC meeting

    On December 3rd, 2019, over 200 activists from all over Maharashtra attended the Convention organised by the Trade Unions Joint Action Committee (TUJAC) at Mumbai. The convention was organised as part of the preparation for the All India General Strike of workers to take place on January 8th 2020.


    Against privatisation of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited: Petroleum workers take out a long march in Mumbai

    Oil workers action in Mumbai

    On November 28, 2019, tens of thousands of workers of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) took part in an All India General Strike to protest against privatisation of BPCL and HPCL. Workers in all the refineries, as well as marketing and pipeline workers participated in the strike.


    AILRSA holds meeting against privatisation in Panvel, Mumbai

    On 15th November 2019, All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) held a meeting against Privatisation of Railways at Panvel Branch of Mumbai Division. Kamgar Ekta Committee was invited to give a presentation on privatisation at this meeting. The meeting was chaired by Comrade R.k Sharma, Secretary, Mumbai Division, AILRSA and addressed by Com D. S. Koparkar, Zonal Secretary, Central Railway, AILRSA.

    National Convention of Oil and Petroleum Workers:

    Oil workers convention

    Petroleum workers decide to strike work on 28th November to oppose privatisation

    On November 20th 2019, a joint mass convention was organised in the Constitution Club, New Delhi, by the three federations representing oil and petroleum workers of India working in BPCL, HPCL, IOC, ONGC and Oil India Limited.


    Resident doctors of AIIMS oppose hike in fees and charges for medical services

    AIIMS students protest fee hike

    The Resident Doctors’ Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi is opposing the directive of the Central government to raise the fees of students pursuing medical education at the institute as well as the charges levied on patients for various medical services at the hospital.


    Workers laid off in Cognizant

    Cognizant laysoff workers

    One of the 100 largest digital companies in 2019, Cognizant, has announced that it will be downsizing its content moderation business and layoff 7000 IT workers. People familiar with this industry believe that very soon, there will be another round of layoff in which a similar number will be retrenched. Content moderation refers to  the process of detecting objectionable content in social media sites like Facebook


    Struggle of temporary government workers in Meghalaya

    Meghalaya muster roll workers

    Under the banner of Muster Roll Progressive Workers Union (AMMRPWU), the temporary government workers in Meghalaya have been fighting for their demands. They are demanding that they should be eligible for leave, earned leave, maternity leave facilities, as well as facility for upgrading their skills. They want their outstanding wages to the be paid and also want their service to be regularised as per their skills.


    Struggle for irrigation water in Hanumangarh: Great success after a long struggle

    Hanumangarh dharna Peasants from numerous villages in the Nohar sub-division of Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan have been waging a long struggle under the banner of “Kisan, Mazdoor, Vyaapari Sangharsh Samiti”. After 25 days of intense struggle finally, the administrative machinery woke up and officials agreed to all demands.

    Struggle against the blatant robbery by electricity companies in Rajasthan

    Demo against electricity co loot

    On 14th October residents of the villages (Ramgarh, Narwana, Nethrana, Gogamedi, Bhadra, Rawatsar, Tibbi and Sangaria) in Nohar Tehsil in Hanumangarh district came together under the banner of the Upbhogta Sangarsh Samiti (Consumer Struggle Committee). They organized a camel rally and surrounded the Collector’s Office. Hundreds of residents from these villages participated in this rally.


    Loco drivers and guards of Indian Railways protest in Nagpur

    AILRSA workers protest in Nagpur

    The on-going drive to privatize the Indian Railways by the government is facing country-wide protests. In this context, loco drivers and guards of the Indian Railways carried out a protest demonstration on 18th November at the lobby of the loco drivers in Nagpur, under the leadership of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) and the All India Guards Council (AIGC). Hundreds of loco drivers and guards of the Nagpur Division of the Railways participated in this protest.


    Hunger strike by BSNL workers

    BSNL workers hunger strike

    BSNL workers have gone on a hunger strike on 25th November, in support of their demands. The hunger strike is being observed by the representatives of various unions including BSNLEU, National Union of BSNL Workers, BSNL Mazdoor Sangh, BSNL Association of Telecom Mechanics and BSNL Officers’ Association. 


    Honda workers' struggle against layoffs continues

    Honda workers struggle

    On 27th November, thousands of workers of the Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) plant in Manesar, Haryana took out a militant rally through the streets of Manesar and Gurugram to oppose the massive retrenchment of nearly a thousand contract workers. Apart from the workers of HMSI, workers from a number of auto component plants in Manesar and Gurugram participated in the rally to extend their support to the fighting Honda workers


    Hail the Great October Revolution!

    Let us work to establish the rule of workers and peasants in our country!

    On 7th November, the revolutionary workers, soldiers and sailors of Russia stormed the Winter Palace and arrested the representatives of the Provisional Government. They occupied the Ministries, the State Bank as well as the railway stations, post and telegraph offices. Led by the Bolshevik Party, the working class captured political power in Russia. This shook the entire world. It struck terror in the hearts of the capitalists of all countries. This inspired and gave hope to the oppressed people of the world.


    Interview with Comrade Subhash Marathe, General Secretary of BPCL Credit Society, Mumbai

    BPCL workers demonstration

    We firmly oppose privatisation of Bharat Petroleum

    The Convention in Mumbai on October 26th 2019, condemned the Central Government for its decision to privatise strategic PSU’s such as Oil and Petroleum, Defence, Public Sector Banks, Insurance, Railways, Ports, Public Road Transport etc.


    Interview with Hijam Kavita Devi, Consultant to Labourers’ Welfare Association in Manipur

    Manipur FCI contract workers protest

    Terrible exploitation and oppression of contract workers of Food Corporation of India

    Mazdoor Ekta Lehar (MEL) recently interviewed Hijam Kavita Devi (KD), a consultant from Manipur, for the Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution Labourers’ Welfare Association (CAF & PDLWA). Here are some excerpts of the interview:


    Successful strike by government doctors in Tamilnadu

    TN Doctors on strike

    Doctors of government hospitals in Tamilnadu struck work from 25th October 2019 to 1st November. Their strike was withdrawn only after the government promised to look into their four-point charter of demands. Striking doctors are affiliated with the Federation of Government Doctors' Associations (FOGDA).


    Students' protest in Bihar: Halt the privatisation of railways

    Bihar students protest against railway privatisation

    On 25th October, 2019 students took out a massive demonstration and carried out a campaign to block trains. This campaign was carried out in several cities of Bihar – Patna, Aarah, Sasaram, Nawada, Aurangabad, Samastipur and other cities.


    Workers of Motherson fight for right to unionise

    Motherson workers on strike

    Permanent workers of Motherson Automative Technologies and Engineering (MATE) plant in Pondur village of Kancheepuram district, Tamilnadu went on strike on 23rd August, demanding recognition of the union, improved working conditions and better wages.


    JNU students protest hike in hostel charges

    JNU Students protest against fee hike

    Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi have been agitating since October 28. They are protesting against the steep hike in hostel charges proposed by the university authorities as well as other restrictions imposed on the students.


    Uttarakhand Ayurved University students oppose fee hike

    Uttarakhand students protest

    Students of 16 medical colleges affiliated to the Uttarakhand Ayurved University (UAU) have been sitting on dharna in the state capital, Dehradun, since the beginning of October. They are demanding a reversal of the steep fee hike imposed by the university authorities.


    TSRTC workers continue their struggle despite attacks by Telangana state government

    TSRTC Rally

    Nearly 50,000 workers of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) have been on strike for more than a month. In a most high handed manner, the Telangana government has refused to heed to clear cut demand of the workers to stop the process of privatisation of the state transport bus operations and 25 other demands.


    Hindustan Aeronautical Limited workers' strike

    HAL strike

    Over 20,000 workers of the Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) ended their indefinite strike on October 23, 2019 following an order issued by the Karnataka High Court to the workers of the Bengaluru plant of HAL to resume work immediately. The workers had begun their strike on October 14, 2019. The management of HAL had approached the High Court claiming that a loss of Rs 17 crore is being incurred every day because of the strike.


    The struggle for irrigation water in Nohar, Rajasthan


    If our demands are not met, we will step up our agitation!

    Countless farmers from several villages in Nohar tehsil, in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan, are sitting in a dharna in front of the Subdivisional Office under the banner of the ‘Kisan, Mazdoor, Vyapaar Sangharsh Samiti’.


    Honda workers protest against layoffs


    About 2000 regular and contract workers sat inside the plant premises, demanding that the management stop layoff of contract workers. The workers were agitated that the management of the company had thrown out another 200 contract workers onto the street. Hundreds of contract workers of the plant who had been thrown out since February have joined the agitation, sitting at the gate of the Manesar plant.


    Interview with Comrade Sebastin, General Secretary, BSNL Executives’ Association

    Oppose the government’s plan to privatise BSNL

    The government has been doing a lot of propaganda to justify the privatisation of the public sector telecom service provider, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and to hand over the huge assets of this state-owned company to the big monopoly corporate houses at throw-away prices. Employees of BSNL are in struggle, to oppose this move. MEL spoke to Comrade Sebastin, General Secretary of the BSNL Executives’ Association. He explained in detail about the history of the company, the subsequent developments in the telecom sector in our country and the current moves towards privatisation of BSNL.


    Joint protest demonstration against the economic crisis by communist parties and left organisations

    Economic crisis

    CPI, CPI(M), CGPI, CPI(M-L) Liberation, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Bloc carried out a joint protest demonstration against the economic crisis on 16th October 2019 at the Parliament in New Delhi. Hundreds of workers, youth and women marched towards the Parliament from Jantar Mantar-Jaisingh Road chowk under the banner “Stop shifting the burden of the economic crisis on the people!” The demonstrators held a public meeting at the Parliament Road police station where they were stopped from going ahead.



    Is reduction in ESIC contributions in the interest of workers?

    Government has amended the ESIC Rules and has notified reduced rates of ESI Contribution applicable for employers (reduced from 4.75% to 3.25%) and for Employees (reduced from 1.75% to 0.75%), with effect from 1 July 2019. Government has justified this amendment saying that this will increase take home salary of employees, reduce the financial liability of establishments and boost further enrolment of employers and workers in ESI scheme.


    Rail workers in Mumbai oppose privatisation and NPS

    Rail workers

    On 18th October 2019, hundreds of rail workers in Mumbai protested against the privatisation moves of the Railway Ministry as well as against the anti-worker New Pension Scheme (NPS).

    The protest was organised by All India Rail Track Maintainers Union (AIRTU), Indian Railway Signal and Telecom Maintainers Union (IRSTMU), Western Railway Employees Movement for Old Pension Scheme (WREMOPS) and Rail Mazdoor Union (RMU).




    Telangana road transport workers continue their strike

    Telangana transport 

workers get head shaved 

in protest

    Close to 50,000 employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) workers struck work on 5th October 2019. On October 21, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) that is leading the protests called for a ‘Sakala Janula Samara Bheri’, a public gathering with lakhs of people, to be held in Hyderabad on October 30.


    PMC Bank scam: Capitalists and bank officials collude to loot people's money


    On 26 Sep 2019, due to irregularities observed in bank accounts the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) suspended the Managing Director and the Board of Directors of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, having its headquarter in Mumbai. It appointed an ex-RBI officer as the administrator and barred the bank from renewing or granting any loans or making investments without prior approval of the RBI. Depositors were informed that they can only withdraw a maximum of 1000 rupees from their accounts over the next six months. This shocked and angered more than 900,000 depositors of the Bank whose savings were now stuck in it.


    Appointment of Delhi municipal school teachers cancelled

    Teachers protest in New Delhi

    The appointments of 3,778 primary school teachers of the three municipal corporations of Delhi – north, south and east – were summarily cancelled by an order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), on October 14, 2019. ... The teachers, who had been appointed to teach in over 1,600 schools of the three municipal corporations, spread across the city, were given their appointment letters recently and were expected to join for work on Oct 15.




    National Open Mass Convention of workers announces all India general strike on January 8, 2020

    Workers convention

    Thousands of workers declared their resolve to organise a General Strike on January 8, 2020, as part of developing the united resistance of the working class to the anti-worker, anti-social and anti-national course of the ruling class. They were participating in the National Open Mass Convention of Workers organized at Parliament Street on September 30, 2019. The call for the Convention had been given by ten Central Trade Unions -- INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC, to plan the future course of action of the working class.


    CGPI mournes the death of Comrade Shekhar Kapure

    Comrade SK

    Comrade Shekhar Kapure (or SK as he was popularly known) passed away in the morning of September 25th 2019 at his residence in Titwala, Mumbai. He was 59 years old. Ever since he joined it in 1998, for more than 20 years he was a militant fighter of the Communist Ghadar Party of India. He was born in Khusnoor in Nanded district of Maharashtra. After finishing his schooling and graduation at his native place he came to Mumbai hoping to study law. While studying he started working part time in a garment factory so that he could pay his tuition as well as boarding fees. But very soon seeing the atrocious condition of the garment workers he started to unite the worker to oppose their exploitation. He soon got so immersed in the struggle that he gave up his studies to devote himself full time to organising the workers. He along with other militant colleagues formed the Ladaku Garment Mazdoor Sangh (LGMS) in 1998.


    Attack on livelihood of onion producers

    File photo

    Retail prices of onions rose more than 200 per cent in September 2019 in most cities across the country. Prices climbed to as high as Rs. 80 rupees per kg in most urban centres in September, compared with Rs. 20  - Rs. 25 per kg in July through August. In response to the rising prices, the government banned exports of all varieties of onion, imposed stock limits on onion traders and released stocks from the central buffer stocks in a few places.


    Changes to EPF Act:

    Central government continues to move along an anti-worker course

    The Ministry of Labour & Employment announced its plan to amend the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. One of the important changes that this amendment aims to make is reduce the contributions made by workers as well as employers to the employees provident fund (EPF) of the worker. The proposal of the Central government is to cut down the contributions made by both a worker and his employer from 12 percent of basic salary plus dearness allowance to 10 percent.


    The struggle of bank employees is against the anti-social banking sector reforms of the government

    The All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), representing a large majority of the employees of Public Sector Banks (PSBs), have called for an all-India bank strike on October 22. The strike is being called to oppose the announced merger of ten public sector banks as well as to demand an increase in wages. The agitating bank employees are demanding that the government should take strict action against the defaulting corporate houses and take steps to secure full repayment of the bad loans.


    Railway workers observe Black Day across India: Massive protests held across the country against the privatisation of Railways

    Protest in Ghaziabad

    Taking one more step towards the privatization of railways, operation of first Tejas by a private company has begun. Against this step of the government, the pilots and guards of All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) held protest demonstrations and observed Black Day at railway crew lobby, pilot rest rooms, stations, training centers, etc. all across the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The employees wore black ribbon bands as a sign of protest. At Ghaziabad railway station, the railways employees held back the “Tejas” for 5 minutes expressing their anger against this step by the government. After a struggle between the police and the employees, the employees were forcibly removed from the railway track.


    Irrigation-related problems

    Farmers demonstrate at Nohar subdivision office

    On October 8, 2019, under the leadership of the Mazdoor Kisan Vyapari Sangharsh Samiti, farmers from the numerous villages in Nohar tehsil of Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan organized a demonstration against irrigation and water theft issues in front of the subdivision office. The farmers handed over a seven-point charter of demands to the tehsildar. They have warned the authorities that if their demands are not considered, then they will begin an indefinite hunger strike from November 1, 2019.


    Farmers from Uttar Pradesh march to Delhi in support of their demands


    Farmers from various parts of western UP gathered in Noida on 19th September to march to Kisan Ghat in Delhi the next morning to draw attention to money from sugarcane sales owed to them by UP government and rising electricity rates. They came from Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Shamli and Baghpat under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Sangathan. They were demanding settlement of sugarcane dues in 4 days, electricity rates for farmers to be slashed to Rs.100/month and full farm loan waiver for all.


    Workers exposed to life-threatening working conditions


    Occupational accidents – workers getting injured and even dying from “accidents” at the work place – are very high in India. Going by reported accidents, 3 workers die and close to 50 are injured every day! According to estimates, roughly 80,000 workers lose their lives every year in “accidents” at the workplace. Lakhs of workers suffer injuries, many of them disabled for life.



    South Africa’s financial union’s planned strike declared illegal

    South Africa’s biggest financial union Sasbo (formerly the SA Society of Bank Officials) was mobilising a huge strike that would have disrupted the country’s banking industry. The union was leading its 73,000 members on a strike on 27th September, in what would be its largest industrial action in almost a century. Five major marches were planned throughout the country in Johannesburg, Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town. Business Unity South Africa (Busa) approached the Labour Court two days prior to the planned strike of 27th September, seeking an urgent interdict against the strike.

    Workers of General Motors on strike in two continents


    The United Auto Workers (UAW) union called a nationwide strike in the US against General Motors (GM) on 15th September. Following the strike call, some 46,000 members walked off the job beginning at midnight. The strike continues till date on 28h September, while talks are in progress.

    Unionised workers at the South Korean unit of GM launched an all-out strike for the first time in more than two decades on 9th September, demanding higher wages and protesting against the US carmaker’s restructuring plans in the East Asian nation.


    Police beat up Anganwadi workers in Jharkhand 


    Anganwadi Sevika Sahayaka Sangh workers in Ranchi, Jharkhand have been protesting for over 40 days with a list of demands. All the time, the parties in power have boasted of the ICDS programme of being one of the largest and providing services to the highest number of beneficiaries. But the labour of the workers who are the backbone of these programmes is not respected and is largely ignored. Ignoring their repeated demands and punishing them with lathis must be roundly condemned. MEL supports the just struggle of the Anganwadi workers in every state.


    Serial hunger strike against private power company and electricity department


    The struggle against the looting by power companies in Nohar block of Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan is intensifying. A hunger strike in front of the SDM’s office is underway at present led by the Bijli Upbhoktha Sangarsh Samiti (electricity consumers struggle committee); this has been going on since 13th September. The Samiti decided to launch a signature campaign from house to house in every village. A petition with 10,000 signatures will be collected in the first phase to present to the Chief Minister.


    Karnataka garment workers stand up for their rights


    The bourgeoisie has been brazenly beating this drum that wages in garment and textile exports have to be kept “competitive” with countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh, meaning that wages have to be kept below even the minimum wages. The GATWU and workers have demonstrated that this is unacceptable. It is the duty of the government to ensure that their right to livelihood and minimum wages are secured.


    People's unity halts privatisation drive!

    Respected Editor,
    Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

    In your earlier issues you had reported about the strong opposition of people to the privatization of electricity distribution in the Kalwa, Mumbra, Diva zones of Thane district. The Maharashtra government had declared that it would hand over the distribution to Torrent Power in January 2019. I am happy to inform you that we have so far succeeded in halting the Maharashtra Government’s efforts of privatisation.


    Oppose the anti-passenger privatisation of Indian Railways!

    For a very long time, railway workers have been fighting against the privatisation of Indian Railways that successive governments have carried out part by part. Recognising that it is very important to involve the users of the service, the passengers in this fight, several organisations joined the initiative of Kamgar Ekta Committee and Lok Raj Sangathan in disseminating the following statement.

    Campaign against Wage Code Bill and Labour Code Bill

    ThumbActivists of Communist Ghadar Party of India organised a public campaign against the Wage Code Bill and Labour Code Bill from 2nd to 13th September across the Okhla Industrial Area and the residential areas of workers in the area. Hundreds of men and women workers attentively watched and listened to the presentations held at numerous locations and asked many questions.


    Protest demonstration against the private DISCOM and the Electricity Department

    ThumbResidents from 10-12 village in Nohar tehsil in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan organised protest demonstration at the Office of Assistant Engineer (Discom) at Gogamedi, against the dictatorial attitude and illegal extortion by the distribution companies (discoms) and practice of the governments department of turning blind eye towards such illegal activities of the private discoms. The people are demanding that notice issued to them for payment of additional security deposit must be withdrawn, and this loot by private discoms must be stopped.


    Draft National Educational Policy 2019: Education as a universal right denied

    One of the first steps taken by the newly elected BJP government was to put up on the public domain the draft National Educational Policy (NEP) 2019. The draft claims that the aim of the Policy is to attempt “to create a new system that is aligned with the aspirational goals of 21st Century education, while remaining consistent with India’s traditions and value systems”. Its aim is to transform India into a “global education hub” over the next 5 years.

    National Register of Citizens in Assam: Attack on the human rights of the people of Assam must be condemned

    ThumbThe final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published on 31st August 2019. This marks yet another stage in the process, which has been going on for some years, of identifying “bonafide” Indian citizens in Assam. The draft has created a lot of distress and a feeling of severe insecurity among the people of the state; there are lakhs who are not sure of their status. It is a cruel blow to the masses of working people of the state, that by one arbitrary decision, lakhs have been rendered stateless and families will be separated.


    Thousands protest in front of Indian High Commission in London

    Thousands of people of Kashmiri origin from all over Britain converged in front of the Indian High Commission in London, UK, on August 15, 2019, to protest against the withdrawal by the Indian state of special status of Jammu & Kashmir. The massive mobilisation resulted in traffic in the area coming to a complete standstill. The protesters included people of all ages including women and children. Many of them took a day off from work to participate in the protest on a working day, showing their deep concern about the complete lock down in Kashmir. The protestors raised slogans such as “What we want, freedom”, “Indian forces go back”.


    Rail workers oppose 100-day action plan for privatisation

    AILRSA 13 Aug 19Rail workers all over the country have been agitating against the 100 day action plan of the Railway Ministry which has proposed a number of steps aimed at accelerating the privatisation of Indian Railways. The privatisation of Indian Railways has been going on covertly for more than two decades despite the repeated denials by respective Railway Ministers and Prime Ministers. The 100-day action plan recently announced by the newly elected BJP government is an open declaration of this privatisation agenda.


    Water scarcity

    Dear Editor,

    I am thankful to you for writing several articles dealing with the scarcity of water. In the comprehensive piece in the July 16-31, 2019 issue, you have pointed out that India is endowed with bountiful water resources including monsoons and rivers fed from melting snow of Himalayas, yet water table across India is rapidly coming down. As this article points out, the reason for this alarming trend is clearly to be seen in the capitalist orientation of the economy and the abdication of responsibility by the Indian State to protect the water resources.


    Country-wide militant protests against the anti-working class Bills

    Dharna on SansadOn 2nd August, lakhs of workers country-wide under the leadership of the Joint trade unions demonstrated their opposition to the Codes replacing labour laws. The trade unions organised jointly to take out a demonstration from Bank of Baroda in Parliament Street toward the Parliament in the capital city of Delhi. The police stopped the demonstrators at the junction of Jaisingh Marg and Jantar Mantar even as they proceeded towards Parliament. The protestors held a meeting right there.


    Protest demonstration against bills amending labour laws

    Bhadara_2 AugOn 2nd August the Bhadra Unit of Rajmistri Mazdoor Samiti organised protest demonstration and public meeting against the introduction of bills to amend the labour laws in Lok Sabha on 23rd July 2019.

    The protestors demanded the withdrawal of these anti-worker bills and raised slogans against them. They carried placards in their hands condemning the bills.


    BSNL, MTNL employees protest non-payment of salaries and steps towards privatisation

    Ordnance factoryAccording to recent media reports, State-owned telecom companies Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) have failed to pay salaries on the due date to their 1.98 lakh employees for the second time in six months. Salary for the month of July had not come by 5th August nor were the employees informed as to when it would be credited. In February, too, the salary was delayed and the backlog was cleared only in mid-March, putting the employees to great difficulties in meeting their financial obligations at the beginning of the month. MTNL’s 22,000 employees, who have not been paid salaries for two months now, protested in front of Sanchar Bhawan on 5th August. The concerned officials of both telecom PSUs have admitted that they have not been able to generate enough revenue and the government has not yet provided any revival packages.


    Demand for Irrigating Unirrigated Areas

    Guru ji reportOn 11 Aug 2019 Unirrigated Areas Sangharsh Samiti organised a programme at Gorkhana village of Nohar tehsil of Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. Hundreds of farmers from unirrigated areas of more than a dozen villages – Bhagwansar, Karmshana, Dumasar, Chainpura, Lakhasar, Sangathia, Lalania, Kharsandi, Nagrasari, Ratusar, Shyorani, Khopda, Bhanguli, Maalia, Mandarpura, Bachusar, Jabrasar, etc participated in the programme.


    Government employees unions agitate for restoration of the old pension scheme

    Pension MeetingMembers of the Committee for National Movement for Old Pension Scheme in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan organised a protest demonstration at the District Collector’s office on 8th August. Another protest demonstration was organised at the Hanumangarh Junction led by the Rajasthan state government employees organisation .


    Ordnance factory employees give strike call against privatization

    Ordnance factoryEmployees of the Ordnance factories throughout the country have announced that they will go on a month-long strike from August 20, to protest against the plans for privatization of defence production. Apart from a variety of protest actions at ordnance factories in different parts of the country, the employees have given a call for hunger strike in from of Parliament in New Delhi from August 20.


    Daikin Factory Workers Wage Struggle in Rajasthan plant

    Workers at Daikin, an air conditioner manufacturing company, have now been waging an ongoing struggle in Rajasthan’s Alwar region for over 170 days. On 8th August, in yet another protest march, the workers marched to the collector’s office to demand the release of over 18 workers arrested in the course of strike actions in January and withdrawal of illegal cases against the employees of the company.


    The UAPA amendment bill: A draconian amendment to suppress the voices of dissent

    The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act Amendment Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on June 24. If this bill becomes a law, it will empower the government to designate individuals as terrorists, without following any formal judicial process and without the need to produce any evidence to substantiate the claim. The name of the person will be added to the Fourth Schedule proposed to be added to the UAPA. The only statutory remedy available to such a person is to make an application before the Central government for de-notification, which can be considered by a review committee constituted by the government itself!


    All-India protest actions against anti working class bills

    On July 23, the Union Labour Minister tabled two bills relating to the working class in parliament. These are the Code on Wages Bill 2019 and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill 2019. If parliament passes these bills, they will replace 17 existing labour laws relating to wages and working conditions.

    In response to the tabling of these bills, ten Central Trade Unions have called for All India Protest actions on August 2, 2019.


    Peasants protest against delays in transfer of PM-Kisan funds

    In the interim budget presented on 1 February, 2019 by the Modi government, an income transfer scheme, called the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi or PM-Kisan. It was announced with just a few months to go for the general elections in order to assuage the anger of peasants reeling under a long period of agrarian distress. The then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal called it “historic" and said the scheme will pave the way for peasants to live respectable lives.


    Occupational Health, Safety and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2019

    13 believed dead in Meghalaya

    The Union Labour Minister tabled the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill in Parliament on July 23, 2019.

    This is one of the four so called Labour Codes that the big bourgeoisie wanted the NDA government to implement during its first term. It failed at that time, due to resolute opposition from the working class. Having organized to bring the BJP back to power with an even bigger majority, the bourgeoisie is pushing for speedy passing of these four anti working class legislations by parliament, in order to ensure “ease of doing business”.


    Mid-Day Meal Workers Protest in AP

    Thousands of mid-day meal workers protested in Vijayawada district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday 22nd July. They were demanding wages of Rs.8000 per month and early payment of pending salaries. The workers, mostly women, have suffered because of delay in payments, being forced to procure groceries on credit and even with personal loans.


    Struggle for justice

    innocent youth kild in NoharA massive demonstration took place in front of the State Assembly in Jaipur, Rajasthan on 22nd July 2019 demanding the arrest of the murderers of Pawan Vyas. The demonstration was led by the Nyay Sangharsh Samiti which has been constituted to fight for justice in the murder of Pawan Vyas in cold blood.


    Teachers of Delhi University agitate for teachers’ appointments and funds

    dutafile protest

    Teachers of Delhi University have been on agitation, demanding renewal of appointment of all ad-hoc teachers in the colleges of the university before the commencement of the new academic session on July 20, 2019.

    On July 15 they held protest actions at the University campus and on July 16 at the UGC headquarters. (See photos)


    New Labour Codes: Committee for construction workers opposes the move

    It is reported that the Labour Ministry is in the process of seeking approval from the Cabinet for the amended Wage Code Bill. This is one of the four bills prepared by the Ministry in 2017, which are to replace 44 labour legislations existing now. One of the proposed legislation deals with social security and welfare. Called the social security code, it will consolidate 15 existing laws on pension, disability and life insurance as well as maternity, medical and unemployment coverage. The government claims that it will cover both the organised and the unorganised sector – about 50 crore workers.


    Proposal to corporatize rail coach factory:Sangharsh Committee protests privatisation move

    Railway Coach Factory Members of the Railway Coach Factory (RCF) Sangharsh Committee have been agitating against the government’s proposal to privatise the coach manufacturing operations. The Committee has also been demanding that the Railway Board should roll back the proposal for corporatisation of the (RCF). The Sangharsh Committee announced on 10th July in Jalandhar that it would stop trains if this demand is not accepted.


    Protests in Delhi against privatisation of Railways

    Workers across sectors and railway workers held a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on 10th July against the Modi government’s decision to privatise the railways.

    No sooner than the Modi government began its second term at the Centre, it announced the sale of the property belonging to the people – the Indian Railways. The government is making all efforts to implement a 100-day action plan of privatising the railways.


    Auto component manufacturers given ‘public utility’ status in Tamil Nadu

    Recent months had seen a spate of protests and strikes in auto spare parts suppliers, such as Pricol, Asahi, Chowel, MSI and Dongsan in Tamil Nadu. The state government has responded to this with a notification granting ‘public utility’ status to manufacturers of auto components. This amendment to the rules of the Industrial Disputes (ID) Act, gives suppliers of auto spare parts the same status attributed to essential commodities and services likes water, electricity and public transport.


    One year after Sterlite firing people await justice

    March on Sterlite firingThe first anniversary of police firing on protestors against the Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin, in which 13 people were killed, scores of others wounded and hundreds arrested was observed on May 22nd. Families of victims of the police firing, protestors who demanded the closure of the plant, and people living in the vicinity of the plant are extremely upset and angry over the continued denial of justice.


    AILRSA opposes steps towards privatisation of Railways

    The Central Working Committee of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) opposed steps being taken for privatization of Indian Railways, at a meeting held at AILRSA Bhawan, Ghaziabad on June 23, 2019.

    In a press note issued on the occasion, the General Secretary of AILRSA, M.N.Prasad exposed the reality of the 11 point action plan, which the Ministry of Railways proposes to implement within 100 days. Its aim is clearly to further unbundle and hand over for privatization various services of the Indian Railways.


    Criminal negligence of Delhi Jal Board leads to worker's death

    sewers worker deathOn 28th June, three workers who were cleaning the drain 30 feet below ground level for Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in Delhi's Khyala area were drowned when the Jal Board opened the water supply. Rescue teams were called in but one worker died, while the other two are in critical condition. DJB had given the contract to clean the drainages to a private company. It is nothing short of criminal negligence by the authorities that they flooded the drain when workers were cleaning it.


    Loco pilots to run trains while on two-day fast

    AILRSA MTG in MeerutThe All-India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) successfully concluded its annual conference at the baraat ghar of the Meerut Railway Station on 24th June 2019, the first anniversary of the establishment of Meerut Branch of the association. Nearly 160 activists participated along with the office-bearers at the branch, mandal, zonal and central executive levels.


    Railway Loco drivers announce strike in support of their demands

    AILRS DharnaOn 29th May, loco engine drivers demonstrated in every depot across all 16 divisions, under the leadership of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA). This demonstration was in protest against the announcement of the mileage allowance that is baseless, i.e. not based on any formula. The loco staff also raised their long standing demands that have remained unfulfilled.


    Children’s deaths in Muzaffarpur : Criminal callousness of the state machinery

    protest against enciphilitis june 2019Starting from 1st June, nearly 400 children have been admitted in a critical state in the state government’s Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district. These children were all showing symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). Most of these children are 1-10 years old. 128 deaths have been reported from the state, with the death toll rising every day; about 120 have been discharged after treatment and many have been referred to hospitals in Patna for critical care.


    May Day celebrated in Mumbai

    Hundreds of workers, men and women, gathered at Adarsh Vidyalaya, Shell Colony, Chembur to celebrate Mayday in Mumbai. The Trade Union Sanyukta Kriti Samiti which has organized the meeting, declared that it would continue to take up the struggles of minimum wages, privatization, contract workers, anganwadi and other issues. It had shown its international solidarity by supporting the struggle of workers across the world.

    May Day meetings held in and around Chennai

    ThumbIn spite of the Police giving Elections as an excuse to refuse permissions for Mayday meetings, workers gathered under their trade unions and held militant Mayday rallies in all factories and work places all over Tamilnadu. Gate meetings were organized by the respective unions at the VHS Hospital – Adyar, at the Chennai airport (Air Corporation Employees Union ACEU, Air India Employees Union), Bhadra Cargo Complex (Bhadra Workers Union), at the Cantonment Board office at St.Thomas Mount (Cantonment Board Employees Union).


    Move to liquidate and privatise Bharat Sanchar Nigam

    The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) management has planned to reduce the retirement age from 60 to 58 years. It has also planned to offer voluntary retirement scheme to all workers aged 50 and above. Both these measures will lead to loss of jobs for over 54,000 workers, which amounts to 31% of the workforce of BSNL. Both these measures are being justified to reduce the losses BSNL has been incurring for the last few years.

    Closure of Jet Airways: The government is responsible for the sufferings of the workers and airline passengers

    The suspension of operations by Jet Airways from 18 April, 2019 has badly affected nearly 22,000 workers and lakhs of passengers. Workers have not been paid salaries since January. Other airlines are raking in fabulous profits, due to the shortage of flights created by the closure of Jet Airways, by increasing their fares 3 to 4 times. The government has made no move to protect the interests of workers or of the airline passengers.

    Meetings to commemorate 100 years of Jallianwala Bagh massacre

    Exhibition at Sikh sports, MelbourneThe centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre was marked by the Ghadar International through many public meetings in Britain and Australia during April, 2019.

    There were two meetings in Britain, in Southall and Ilford on 13th and 14th April respectively. The first meeting in Australia was held in the open on 21st April, at Sikh Games in Melbourne. The second meeting was held on 28th April in Sydney.


    Enslaving conditions of contract farming

    On April 11, the multinational company PepsiCo filed a civil suit against four farmers of Sabarkantha district, Gujarat, in an Ahmedabad court. PepsiCo accused the farmers of “illegally dealing” in the company’s “registered variety” of potato plants, whose produce is used in its ‘Lays’ chips product. Declaring this to be in contravention of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001, the company also demanded damages of Rs 1.05 crore from each farmer. According to PepsiCo, the farmers who were growing the particular variety of potatoes were ‘infringing upon the right’ of the company ‘under the act’.


    Closure of Jet Airways: The government is responsible for the sufferings of the workers and airline passengers

    The suspension of operations by Jet Airways from 18 April, 2019 has badly affected nearly 22,000 workers and lakhs of passengers. Workers have not been paid salaries since January. Other airlines are raking in fabulous profits, due to the shortage of flights created by the closure of Jet Airways, by increasing their fares 3 to 4 times. The government has made no move to protect the interests of workers or of the airline passengers.


    Move to liquidate and privatise Bharat Sanchar Nigam

    Bharat Sanchar Nigam LtdThe Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) management has planned to reduce the retirement age from 60 to 58 years. It has also planned to offer voluntary retirement scheme to all workers aged 50 and above. Both these measures will lead to loss of jobs for over 54,000 workers, which amounts to 31% of the workforce of BSNL. Both these measures are being justified to reduce the losses BSNL has been incurring for the last few years.


    Supreme Court order on eviction of tribals and forest dwellers:

    The Indian state does not recognize or defend the rights of the tribal people

    On February 13, 2019, the Supreme Court issued an order directing states to evict Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD) whose claims over forest land have been rejected. As a result of this order, an estimated 10 million tribals and forest dwellers in various states across the country face the threat of eviction from their traditional lands and homes. The Supreme Court order was in response to petitions filed by Wildlife First, Nature Conservation Society and Tiger Research and Conservation Trust, which have argued that the rejection of an FRA claim implies that the claimant is an encroacher and not a bona fide forest dweller.


    Condemn the neglect of infrastructure of Mumbai city


    On 14 March, people of Mumbai were once again shocked to hear of the collapse of a foot overbridge over a busy road near Chhatrapati Shivaji rail terminus, the headquarters of Central Railway. The bridge collapsed during evening peak hours leading to death of 6 people and injury to 30. This is the third such incident during the last 18 months in Mumbai, which has claimed a total of 30 lives.


    Maruti-Suzuki: Second anniversary of a grossly unjust verdict

    10th March 2019 marks the second anniversary of the grossly unjust judgment by the Sessions Court, Gurgaon against workers of the Maruti plant in Manesar. On 10th March 2017, the Sessions Court sentenced 13 workers to life imprisonment. These workers constituted the entire Union body of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union. The Union had been leading the resistance against contractualization, brutal working conditions and for Union formation. 117 workers were acquitted at the trial, but they had already spent 3 years in Gurgaon Central Jail since July 2012.


    Voices against war

    thumbThe Communist Ghadar Party hails the courageous stand taken by people in many parts of the world against war, for peace and friendship between India and Pakistan. A joint statement was issued by the National Committees (in India and Pakistan) of the Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD).


    Women march for a new society free from exploitation and injustice

    thumbHundreds of women, men and youth from nearly 20 different organisations, as well as a large number of teachers, health workers, lawyers and activists from different sections, marched from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on 8th March2019, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. They marched with banners of their respective organisations. They carried banners and placards bearing slogans which highlighted their demands.


    Central trade unions place their charter of demands

    Central trade unions held a national convention on 6th March 2019 in Delhi, where they jointly addressed workers across India. Ahead of the general elections, 10 central trade unions, barring the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, have demanded a national minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, an end to contract labour and a minimum indexed pension of Rs 6,000 per month, among others. The convention decided that they would place a “workers’ charter’ before all political parties and compel them to concretely express their stand on these issues. They demanded reversal of anti-workers policies and formulation of alternative pro-worker and pro-people policies, whichever government comes to power at the centre.

    Activist goes missing after providing evidence of Tamilnadu police’s involvement in last year’s Thoothukudi violence

    thumbMugilan, the Coordinator of Tamil Nadu Environment Protection Movement, went missing on February 15 night while travelling from Chennai Egmore railway station to Madurai. Earlier that day, he had conducted a press meet accusing two senior police officers of being complicit when miscreants torched government vehicles and destroyed CCTV cameras in Thoothukudi during mass protests against Sterlite Copper in May, 2018 in which at least 13 people were killed.


    Railway trackmen are victims of callous anti-worker policies of the railway administration

    thumbThe working condition of railway trackmen are worsening day by day. Increasing number of trackmen are dying on railway tracks. During 2012 to 2016, there were on an average 600 deaths of trackmen every year. During 2017 to 2019, the number of deaths of trackmen every year on an average increased to 1000 which means every day 3 trackmen are killed while working on the tracks. These numbers are extremely shocking.


    Campaign for right to housing of textile workers

    thumbTextile workers and their families in Mumbai took out a massive rally in support of their right to housing and rehabilitation. Nearly 4000 workers participated in the rally. According to the decision of the Maharashtra government, only 17,000 mill workers and their families out of the total 1,71,000 mill workers and their families would be provided with houses. This means that the question of when and where they would be provided with housing remains a festering question that plagues the remaining 90 percent of workers and their families.


    Guest teachers protest in Delhi

    ThumbHundreds of guest teachers protested on 3rd March 2019 in front of the residence of the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Education in Delhi in support of their long standing demands. The immediate reason for their protests is that unlike in previous years when their contracts were valid till 10th May, this year their contracts have been terminated in February and the contracts have not been renewed, rendering over 25000 guest teachers jobless.


    Successful campaign for revision of train schedule

    ThumbIt must be noted that the Lok Jan Samiti Ramgarh, Ramgarh Seva Samiti and the Ramgarh Gram Panchayat had together been running a campaign of Halt the Train since the last one month under the leadership of Hanuman Prasad Sharma, Vice-President of the All-India Council of Lok Raj Sangathan. The demand is for the Sadulapur-Hanumangarh Passenger train 04778 to start from Hanumangarh at 6 p.m and for the Sriganganagar Passenger from Tilak Bridge to halt at Ramgarh and Gogamarhi stations.


    Students and youth oppose privatisation of education and demand jobs

    thumbOver 5,000 students, marched from Ramlila Maidan to Parliament Street in Delhi, on 18th February, demanding jobs and an end to privatization of education. Students and youth from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Tripura and many other states participated in the march. The Students' Federation of India (SFI), All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO), Progressive Students’ Union (PSU), All India Students Bloc (AISB) and All India Students Federation (AISF) were among the organizations taking part in the protest action.


    Significant victory for MRF workers in Chennai

    thumbnailWorkers at the MRF tyre factory in Chennai struck work from February 9. The strike had the overwhelming support of all workers in the plant. Of the total number of workers in the plant of 1,025 barring 66, all the others went on strike. They demanded early conclusion of wage settlement and the removal of CCTVs within the premises as it impacts their privacy. The plant rolls out tyres for light/heavy and off the road vehicles.


    Workers of Royal Enfield protest transfers of union members

    thumbnailWorkers at the Royal Enfield motorcycle factory in Oragadam, Chennai, India, took part in protest action on 13th February against transfers of union office bearers and active members. They have pointed out that this is a clear tactic to undermine the strength of the union. The transferred workers include the general secretary of the union, active union members and women workers of the Royal Enfield Employees Union.


    Anganwadi workers protest in the capital against the policies of the Modi government

    thumbnailThousands of anganwadi workers travelled great distances to ensure that their voices get heard in the national capital today. Carrying the signatures collected from their respective regions on their heads, marching hand in hand from Mandi House in the heart of Delhi to the Parliament Street, the workers united from across the states of Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh among others. The protesting workers chanted slogans against the unfair treatment of the workers and the government’s plan to privatise the Integrated Child Development Scheme services.


    Workers across sectors in Punjab demand regularization

    ThumbThe anti-worker practice of hiring workers on contractual basis for years on end is increasing in every sector. Workers are justly demanding that their contracts be regularized and that they should be appointed as permanent workers. At present, they are deprived of all benefits that permanent workers would be entitled to. The protests against this unjust practice are intensifying. MEL is publishing reports of some protests from Punjab


    UP government employees’ strike: Unjust response from State Government and High Court

    ThumbAll across Uttar Pradesh, more than 40 lakh employees of the State Government announced a seven-day strike from 6th February 2019. They were demanding a rollback of the current pension scheme. Teachers, engineers, tehsildars and members of the transport department participated in the strike.


    Roundup of workers struggles

    ThumbOver 2.5 lakh jute mill workers in West Bengal have decided to launch an indefinite strike from March 1, 2019. ... Nearly 10,000 workers of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will go on an indefinite strike from February 20. ... Nearly 10,000 mid-day meal cooks, known as rasoiyas, gheraoed the Bihar assembly on February 12, 2019. The gherao was part of the ongoing 35 day protest. ... Thousands of outsourced workers from across Himachal Pradesh will gherao the Vidhan Sabha (State Assembly) in Shimla on February 13, 2019. Read more ...


    Against privatisation of electricity distribution in the suburbs of Thane: Salute the unity of MSEDCL workers with citizens in struggle!

    ThumbThe workers of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (MSEDCL) have been waging a valiant struggle against the privatisation of electricity distribution in Kalwa, Mumbra and Diva (suburbs of Thane). As in the case of workers from other sectors, the government and monopoly-controlled media tried to incite users against them. However this time they failed to do so.


    Peasants in South Tamilnadu oppose land grab and depletion of water resources by vested capitalist interests

    Peasants in south Tamilnadu have been fighting against profit-hungry industrialists to protect their land and water resources. They have been repeatedly pummeled by drought, floods and hurricanes. As if this is not enough, capitalists owning solar and wind mill farms and public sector oil and gas monopolies have been inflicting them with further pain and suffering.

    Tamilnadu teachers’ strike

    ThumbThe members of the Joint Action Committee of Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisations - Government Employees Organisations (JACTO-GEO) are on an indefinite strike since 22nd January 2019. Announcing the strike, JACTO-GEO had said that 10 lakh members from 175 employees and workers unions from across the state will be a part of the strike.


    Country-wide strikes by ordnance factory workers against privatization in defence sector

    Thumb23-25th January witnessed country-wide strike by about four lakh defence civilian workers. Fotry-one ordnance factories, 52 DRDO labs, MES, COD, Army base workshops, and various departments of the army, navy and air force were all shut down during the 3-day strike. During this period all defence production facilities were completely shut. The employees unions and labour leaders have given a call for decisive struggle.


    Struggle of UP sugarcane farmers for their dues

    ThumbOnce again this year, UP’s sugarcane farmers have to agitate for what is their due. This is not the first year this has happened.

    On 16th January this year, around 50 cane farmers staged a dharna in front of the Upper Doab sugar mill in Shamli. The Upper Doab sugar mill has not cleared pending sugarcane dues since March last year. Now, it owes Rs 80 crore for the 2017-18 season and Rs 120 crores for the 2018-19 season.


    Contract workers protest at NTPC’s head office: Workers warn that they will gherao the PM’s house

    ThumbMore than 300 contract workers marched on 21st January 2019 from the Badarpur Thermal Power Station (BTPS) located in Delhi, past Humayun’s tomb in Nizammudin to the head office of NTPC. The rally was taken past the CGO complex and down Lodi Road before it turned into a demonstration in front of the NTPC headquarters.


    Mid-day meal cooks in Bihar gherao the Chief Minister's residence in Patna

    Thousands of mid-day meal (MDM) cooks from all districts of Bihar, under the banner of Bihar Rajya Vidhyalaya Rasoiya Sangh, have been continuously on an indefinite strike since 7th January. During their agitation, they held a mahapadav in front of the residence of the Chief Minister. The strike is continuing till this paper went to the press.

    Successful All India Strike Action of the working class

    ThumbnailThe working class of India organised a successful two-day all-India strike in support of their long pending demands. The call for the strike was given by the Joint Convention of Trade Unions held on 28th September in New Delhi. Leaders and thousands of activists of trade unions and workers’ organisations across the country had participated in this Convention.

    The strike action was led by unions and federations including ITUC, CITU, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, UTUC, TUCC, AICCTU, INTUC, SEVA, and LPF.


    Support the just struggle of the workers of MSEDCL!

    Unite to Oppose the Anti-Social Step of Privatisation!

    Worker Brothers and Sisters!

    We stand in support of your just struggle to stop the privatisation of electricity distribution in Kalwa and Mumbra as well as against the restructuring plan that the authorities unilaterally want to impose on you workers of MSEDCL (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Colt.).


    Loan waivers have failed the peasantry

    The newly formed Congress government in Rajasthan followed in the footsteps of the new governments in MP and Chhattisgarh when it announced farm loan waivers on 18h December. Going into the Assembly elections, the Congress Party had promised that it would waive farm loans in10 days of the party being elected to power in the three states. While Rahul Gandhi is boasting that his Party has kept its word and has taken concrete steps towards alleviating farm distress, Prime Minister Modi called it a ‘political stunt’. However, the BJP had made promises of loan waivers to sugar cane farmers during the campaign for the UP State elections. Similar announcements have been made by Punjab, Karnataka and Maharashtra governments.

    Farmers in Struggle

    Farmers demonstrate to demands stoppage of leakage of irrigation water

    On 31st December 2018, the peasants of Nohar and Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan organised a protest demonstration at the sub-area office under the leadership of Kisan Vyaapari Sangharsh Samiti.

    Peasants from Badbirana, Soti, Ramgarh, Parlika, Dhani, Araaiyaan, Nethrana, and other villages gathered at Bhagat Singh square and marched to the sub-divisional office, where it became a public meeting.


    Teachers in struggle

    TN teachers on hunger strike against pay anomalies

    More than 20,000 teachers across Tamil Nadu are protesting in Chennai against pay anomalies. The teachers participated in a hunger strike at a stadium in Egmore to force the government to address their demand for correction of the arbitrary salary. Under the 6th Pay Commission, teachers who joined before 2009 draw a basic monthly salary of Rs 8,370 while those who joined later get Rs 5,200.


    BEST strike in Mumbai

    Over 32,000 employees of Mumbai''s civic transport undertaking (BEST)went on an indefinite strike on 8th January over various demands, including higher salaries, prompting the state government to invoke the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against them.

    Struggle of electricity workers against privatization is in the interest of the whole society

    ThumbnailWorkers including Engineers and Officers of all the four Maharashtra Government-owned electricity companies went on strike for 72 hours from 7th January ’19. In 2005 the Maharashtra government had split the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) into 4 companies in spite of severe opposition from all its employees. One of the real reasons for breaking up the MSEB was to create an artificial division amongst the electricity workers. But this strike call has once again brought all the employees together. Employees have united across various unions with different party affiliations and across different categories and grades. This strike call is a part of strike call given on All India basis by National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers.


    Conviction of Sajjan Kumar: Vindication of the struggle for justice and punishment of the guilty

    On December 17, 2018, the Delhi high court convicted former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for his role as one of the principal organisers of the genocide of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984. A two judge bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel awarded him life sentence "for the offences of criminal conspiracy and abetment in the commission of the crimes of murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of communal harmony, defiling and destruction of a gurdwara by burning". 


    NGT verdict on Sterlite

    SterlightOn 15th December, the NGT issued its verdict in favour of Sterlite, Thoothukudi, setting aside the Tamilnadu government’s action of closing down the plant in May. The Tribunal termed the shutdown “unjustifiable,” on the ground that there is no ‘scientific evidence’ that this company’s factory has polluted the environment. Further, it ordered all Government agencies to immediately issue the necessary approvals for the factory and provide electricity to start its operations within a week and the District Collector to provide all necessary protection for the operation of Sterlite, failing which severe action will be taken against the Collector.


    The Meghalaya coal mine mishap : An indictment of the callousness of the State

    Miner in rat hole mineMining in “rat-hole” mines (unscientific mining of coal using small horizontal holes along the coal seams) is still carried out in blatant violation of the ban by the National Green Tribunal in 2014. Fifteen miners have been trapped in a Jaintia Hills mine in Meghalaya – the latest tragic fall-out of this criminal action.

    The 15 miners have been trapped since December 13 and rescue efforts have been stalled for want of high-powered pumps to remove water from the pit.


    Killing of seven innocent people in Pulwama, Kashmir by armed forces

    In widespread protests, people demand an end to Army rule in Kashmir

    Dharna on Pulwama killingIn the early hours of December 15, a joint team of army, special operations group (SOG) of police and paramilitary staged an “encounter” on suspected “militants” in Pulwama village in South Kashmir. As soon as the gunshots of the security forces were heard, hundreds of youth from surrounding areas marched towards the encounter site to protest the killings. The security forces fired bullets, pellets and tear smoke shells on the protesters, as a result of which at least 7 youth were reported killed on spot while hospitals reported nearly 40 others admitted with serious injuries.


    Working People across Europe are protesting the austerity agenda

    Brussels-Yellow-vestsThe mass demonstrations of the people of France (by the name of Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vests) which broke out in November and again on 8th-9th December is gaining steam across Europe. Everywhere, the people – working people across the board and students – are coming out on the streets against the broad anti-social offensive.


    Workers of Badarpur Thermal Power Station demonstrate in front of ILO

    NTPC worker rally-27Dec18On the call of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee hundreds of contract workers of the Badarpur Thermal Power Station marched on 27 December 2018 to press for their demands from Nizamuddin to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), India office in Lodhi colony. When the march reached India Habitat Center, the workers held a militant demonstration. Birju Nayak, Advocate O P Gupta of Mazdoor Ekta Committee and workers leader Pankaj Kumar handed over a petition to the Administrator of ILO (India), Divya Chadha.


    BSNL employee unions defer proposed strike

    The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) hasdeferred the proposed strike of BSNL workers which was to begin on December 3. This followed negotiations between AUAB and the government over workers’ demands. The AUAB has declared that if the government does not concede to their demands, then they would go on indefinite strike from the midnight of December 10.


    Prolonged strike of workers of Royal Enfield and Yamaha

    Royal EnfieldWorkers of motor cycle companies Royal EnField and Yamaha ended their 50 day long strike, on November 13, 2018. Both these companies are situated in the industrial township of Oragadam near Chennai. The strikes of the workers ended in partial victory for workers in both plants. The workers in these companies are fighting against extremely exploitative working conditions.


    2018: A year of intense and widespread struggles of the working class and people of the world

    nato-greeceThroughout the past year, workers and working people in countries across the world have been coming out in ever larger numbers, in protest actions against the growing attacks on their livelihood and rights. Millions of workers have participated in militant strike struggles in Germany, France, Britain, Spain, Canada, US and other capitalist countries.


    Farmers are fed up with “schemes” and betrayal of promises:

    Situation demands a lasting solution to agricultural crisis

    farmers marchOnce more this year, on 29th-30th November 2018, tens of thousands of farmers marched on to Parliament. They assembled on 29th November at Ramlila Maidan. On 30th November, they marched to Parliament with their demands.

    The farmers were from Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha. They had converged on the national Capital for the Kisan Mukti March organised by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, a coalition of around 200 large and small farmer groups from across India.


    26 years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid:

    The unity and solidarity of the Indian people is being wrecked by the big bourgeoisie and its state

    26 years ago, on December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid was razed to the ground in broad daylight in front of TV cameras that broadcast the event to the whole world. It was carried out by armed mobs openly incited by top leaders of the BJP. This act of destruction of a five century old historical monument was carried out right under the eyes of the Congress led Central government of Narasimha Rao and the BJP led state government in Uttar Pradesh. The central and state armed forces provided protection to the mobs in this dastardly act. It was an act of state terrorism.


    2018 : Mounting struggles of the working class and peasantry

    Asha and Anganwanri workers' DemonstrationWorkers, peasants and all sections of the working people were on the streets, in ever-increasing numbers, against the growing attacks on their livelihood and rights.

    Working people opposed the privatization of healthcare, transport, education and other services, and the pro-capitalist amendments to labour laws.

    Trade Unions, cutting across party affiliations, have been organizing joint protest actions against privatization and the increasing attacks on the livelihood and rights of workers.


    Farmers’ anger boils over at the betrayal of promises

    Punjab farmersFrom Karnataka to Punjab, through Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the producers of the country’s food are very angry about the betrayal of every promise made by the rulers.  Each time they have agitated for remunerative prices and crop insurance, the governments in the respective states and at the centre have promised to fulfill their demands, but these have been forgotten once the farmers have called off their agitation and retreated to their fields.


    Assam tea workers demand minimum daily wage Rs 350 for all

    More than a million workers are employed in over 800 tea plantations in Assam which produces more than half of all tea grown in India. There is no fixed minimum wage, and the daily wage is fixed through agreements between workers’ unions and the industry. But the planters’ association which represents the management of the tea estates is able to push the wages down to well below minimum wages. The state government has done nothing to implement the payment of Minimum Wages. In Assam, as last notified w.e.f 1st January 2016, the minimum wages are Rs.


    Elections in 5 states:

    Both BJP and Congress Party must be defeated!

    Building worker-peasant united front is the only way forward!

    Elections to the state assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telengana will be held between 12th November and 7th December, 2018.


    Hail the 101st anniversary of the Great October Revolution!

    leninredsquareThe Great October Revolution, November 1917 remains one the most significant triumph of humanity in its history. It overthrew a barbaric and most backward regime and brought to power the hitherto most oppressed and exploited class, of workers and peasants. It ended one of the bloodiest wars in history – World War-I, and brought peace to the working masses of Russia.


    Rafale scam: Loot of public exchequer in the name of national security

    Charges of corruption at the highest level in India’s decision to purchase Rafale fighter jets from a French company have once again exposed the cut-throat rivalry, huge bribes and kickbacks that characterize the global arms market.

    Global arms trade is dominated by giant monopoly corporations in every sphere. The market for fighter jets is dominated by six major arms manufacturers, namely: Boeing (USA), Lockheed Martin (USA), Dassault Aviation (France), Eurofighter (Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain), Saab (Sweden) and United Aircraft Corporation (Russia).


    French government continues its anti-labour policies: Mass protests in France

    ThumbnailHundreds of thousands of workers, students, and retirees took part in mass demonstrations in more than 100 rallies across France on 9th October 2018. They came out on the streets of Paris, Lyons, Toulouse and many other cities to reiterate their opposition to the attacks on labour rights by the government of French President Macron. The protestors demanded an increase in wages, pensions and an end to privatisation.


    Struggle of workers against privatisation of Haryana Roadways

    ThumbnailThe strike of Haryana Roadways workers led by the Roadways Workers Coordination Action Committee was temporarily halted on 16th November after intervention by the Haryana-Chandigarh High Court. The workers had been on strike since 16th October, demanding that the proposal of the government to privatise Haryana Roadways should be revoked.


    Kisan March to Parliament 28th-30th November announced

    The All India Kisan Sabha on announced on 4th November that a 'Kisan march' would be organised in the national capital from 28th to 30th November to press for the pending demands of the farmers. This would be organised under the aegis of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a conglomerate of 260 farmers’ bodies across the country, to press for their various demands.

    The 'Long March' will be held from a place some 100 km from Delhi to Parliament, on the lines of the 'Nashik-Mumbai Long March' that was held earlier in 2018.


    Demonstration against sexual harassment of women

    ThumbnailSeveral women’s oganisations held a joint demonstration at Parliament in New Delhi on 12th October against the sexual harassment of women at the workplace. AIDWA, NIFW, Society for Labour and Development (SLD), Swastik Mahila Samiti, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, JWP, All India Mahila Sanskritik Samiti and Pragatisheel Mahila Samiti participated in this demonstration.


    Move to deceive the peasantry once again

    Thank you very much for carrying the article entitled 'Announcement of PM-AASHA scheme for peasantry: Aimed at deceiving the peasantry and enriching capitalist traders' carried in the October 1-15, 2018 issue of MEL. The issue of the relationship between the peasantry and the working class on the one hand, and the peasantry in capitalist economy is one of the important questions facing the movement. There is plenty of room for disorientation and confusion when confronting these questions and hence clarifying the issue is important.


    Brutal police attack on teachers and students in Manipur University

    Manipur university agitationOn the midnight of 20th September, Manipur police conducted raids on the students’ hostels and teachers’ residences in the campus of Manipur University. Many students were injured and an atmosphere of terror was created on the university campus. 6 teachers and 89 students are reported to have been arrested following the raids. While 82 of the students were released the next day as per court orders, 7 students and all the 6 teachers were sent to jail for 15 days. The pro-Vice Chancellor subsequently issued a statement saying that all the 6 teachers have been suspended following their arrest.


    Media workers protest termination of PTI employees

    PTI protestThe Press Trust of India (PTI), the largest news agency in India, laid off 297 staff across the country on 29th September. The management of PTI has justified this move, saying that the workers who have been terminated – transmission supervisors, engineers, assistants and attenders – have become redundant and that keeping them in employment was no longer “financially viable”.


    Condemn the barbaric police attack on protesting farmers

    Police attack on FarmerOn 2nd October, thousands of farmers, organized under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) arrived at the border of Delhi, at the culmination of the Kisan Kranti Yatra, which they had begun on 23rd September from Haridwar. The agitating farmers had announced their plan to march through the streets of Delhi to Kisan Ghat and hold a public meeting there to highlight their demands. They had also sought talks with the ministers of the central government, to press for their long-standing demands and to submit a memorandum of their demands to the authorities.


    Massive automotive workers' strike in Oragadam

    25THENFIELDSince September, 2018, more than 3,700 workers from Yamaha India, Myoung Shin Automotive India Pvt. Ltd. and Royal Enfield have been on strike in the Oragadam industrial belt near Chennai. In Yamaha India, two workers were banned from entering the factory premises on 20th September 2018 because they were at the forefront of unionizing the workers. Around 700 workers, including women have been on a sit-down strike since then demanding that the two workers be reinstated.


    Innocent workers arrested in Maharashtra under false charges

    On January 12, 2018, the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police picked up four workers of Reliance Industries, a contractor in the same company and another casual worker from Thane. A workers’ union activist was arrested a day before. They have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon event which had taken place barely two weeks before the arrest.


    Demonstration by construction workers

    Construction worker dharnaOn 4th October 2018 the workers associated with the construction industry organised a protest demonstration at the office of the lieutenant governor of Delhi. They were demanding their registration, contribution, and reinstatement of various benefits they used to receive from Delhi Construction Board. The protest demonstration was jointly led by more than 16 unions working in the construction industry.


    Demonstration in Fatehabad for the solution of the problem of parali

    Demonstration in Fatehabad on Parali IssueOn 9th October 2018 a demonstration was organized by the Kisan Sangarsh Samiti, Dehati Mazdur Sabha, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Naujawan Sabha, Bhavan evam Nirman Kamgar Union Haryana and Lok Raj Sangathan, in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in the Fatehabad district of Haryana in order to highlight various demands of the farmers. Parali (stubble left after harvesting paddy) has become the biggest problem for farmers and it was the main issue raised in the demonstration.


    All India Workers’ Convention : Intensify the struggle against the anti-people and anti-national policies of the ruling capitalist class

    All India worker conventionAn All India Workers Convention was organised by various trade unions, workers’ organisations and federations in Malvankar Hall in Delhi on 28th September 2018. Representatives of trade unions associated with the different sectors of the economy including defense, banking, insurance, railways, road transport, water transport, post, ports, oil, energy, telecom, mines, steel, coal and heavy engineering, enthusiastically participated in the convention. Besides this, representatives of Anganwadi and ASHA workers’ unions also participated.


    Barbaric police attack on safai workers

    Sanitation-Workers-at-Jantar-Mantar-PTI On 8th October 2018 the Delhi Police lathi charged thousands of safai workers of the East Delhi Nagar Nigam who were coming to demonstrate in front of Parliament House regarding the repeated delays in getting their wages and arrears. Many women and men workers were badly hurt due to this barbaric attack by the police. These workers were demanding that they should be paid their arrears of three months as well as allowances, that contract and daily wage workers appointed since 1998 should be made permanent and that retired workers should be paid their gratuity, etc.


    The struggle of workers for a guaranteed living wage:

    The struggle must be waged with the perspective of ending the exploitative capitalist system

    Workers of our country have been repeatedly raising their voice demanding that the Indian state guarantee a living wage for all workers. Workers have been fighting for a wage that would ensure a dignified life for themselves and their families. They have been fighting for social security, including health care and pension, to protect them when they lose their jobs, fall sick, get disabled and during old age.


    Women’s organisations come out in protest in Delhi against rape

    protest at Hariyana BhawanOn 17th September 2018, several women’s organisations surrounded the Haryana Bhavan at Delhi against the gang rape of a 19 year old girl in Rewari, Haryana. Members of many organisations including from AIDWA, AIPWA, NFIW, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Swastik Mahila Samiti, CSW, AIMSS, DYFI, SFI, and KYS participated in the protest.


    Announcement of PM-AASHA scheme for peasantry: Aimed at deceiving the peasantry and enriching capitalist traders

    Kisan sansadPeasants across the country have come out on the streets again and again in recent years demanding secure livelihood. They have been demanding, amongst other things, that the government guarantee that their produce will be procured at 1.5 times the cost of production and establish mechanisms to ensure this.


    Government clerks in Rajasthan on mass leave in support of their demands

    Government clerks from all over the state gathered for a huge demonstration in the capital city of Jaipur on 20th September. This demonstration was organized by the “Rajya Mantralaya Karmachari Mahasang”. The workers went on mass leave and participated in the demonstration in order to draw the attention of the government to their principal demands.

    This struggle has been continuing for several months now.


    Haryana Multi-Purpose Health Workers strike work

    thumbnailMulti-Purpose Health Workers (MPHW)in Haryana, who are responsible for delivery of preventive and promotive health care services to the community, struck work across various districts of the state on 27th August. MPH workers are responsible for several critical aspects of health care including case finding through home visits, community mobilization, epidemic notification and control, referrals, record keeping, meeting targets for immunization, MCHN, limited diagnosis (malaria, TB, for e.g.), follow up of patients undergoing treatment for communicable diseases, enumeration, organizing mass campaigns, record keeping, reporting, etc


    Railway Workers and Central Government Employees observe Protest Day

    Railway workers and Central Government Employees all over India demonstrated on 19th September 2018 in front of their respective head quarters. This action was carried out despite threats from the government that wages would be cut and disciplinary action will be taken against any worker participating in the protest.


    All India Convention of Loco Pilots

    AILRSA BGM JothpurThe 22nd Bi-annual Convention of All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) was held on 24th-25th September 2018 in Jodhpur. At the commencement of the convention, AILRSA President L Moni hoisted the red flag, which was accompanied by revolutionary slogans from the participating delegates. Over 2000 loco pilots including women loco pilots from all the railway zones across the country participated in the convention along with their family members.

    Condition of the workers under Apprentice Act

    The Central Government has prepared a draft law called Code of Industrial Relation to replace several existing laws — the Industrial Disputes Act, the Trade Unions Act and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act. A part of these attacks on the working class the government has amended the Apprentice Act in November 2014 to legalise the practice of super-exploiting young workers without regularising their jobs, so that young workers can be made to work for years on end without minimum wages, leave, or any social security benefits. Further the National Employability Enhancement Mission (NEEM) has been launched to enable the capitalists to replace regular workers with trainees and apprentices. It allows capitalists to pay extremely low wages and deny all statutory benefits for three years of “training”. The workers and their unions have been fighting against the sustained attack by the capitalists through various means.

    Wonderful victory for the peasants in Rajasthan

    Victory MTG in RajasthanThe peasants tasted sweet victory on 1st September in their long struggle for compensation under the Crop Insurance Scheme. The peasant leaders had been discussing the matter with the Additional Superintendent of Police, Sub-divisional Magistrate and officers of the Bank. They came to an agreement that within ten days the compensation under the Crop Insurance Scheme and the additional bank interest charged hitherto would be credited to the accounts of the peasants of Ramgadh, Gorkhana and Bhukarka.


    Workers have contributed their mite to Kerala flood victims

    Workers across India have also shown their camaraderie with Kerala’s workers, by providing aid in human, material and monetary form. Even as the governments fight over the allocation of aid, the workers have emptied out their buckets and savings to raise money for the people of Kerala.

    The United Nurses Association deployed union members to key affected regions to assess the situation while also help in the relief and rehabilitation efforts.


    Maruti Suzuki workers raise money for the families of their incarcerated comrades

    On August 22, the Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union announced financial support to the tune of Rs. 45,50,000 for the families of the 13 Maruti workers who are currently serving life sentence in jail. These workers, who actively took part in the organised struggle for rights of the workers against the company, were sentenced to life imprisonment in relation to the death of Ashwin Kumar, General Manager, HR Department in Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant on July 18, 2012.


    Rajasthan farmers’ agitation for crop insurance payment continues

    ​Rajasthan Farmers agitationOn 20th August 2018 farmers from Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan blocked the traffic on Ganganagar-Delhi Highway. This is part of their agitation against the denial of crop insurance under the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana). The blockage of traffic continued till 11 PM in the night.


    Agitation by Mumbai’s suburban motorman and guards

    Central Railway suburban rail motormen strike work

    On 10th of August 2018, from the morning hours hundreds of Motormen of Central Railway, led by their joint unions refused to do overtime work. Over the course of the day, this resulted in cancellation of hundreds of trains. The agitation was led by CRMS (Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh and supported by the Joint Action Forum (consisting of AILRSA, RKS, All India SC/ST Association and All India OBC Association) as well as by all the motormen.


    Chennai-Salem highway project: People should have the final say

    thumbnailThe Chennai-Salem highway project is being opposed by a large number of farmers and other sections of people. It will have an adverse impact on the lives and livelihood of farmers in five districts of Tamilnadu as well as on the environment. It will affect people living in 159 villages and also vast swathes of agricultural land, ponds, hills and vital infrastructure such as health centres. Lakhs of trees will be removed. In addition, farmers have been protesting against the low compensation fixed for land acquisition, which is reported to be 33% below market value.


    Farmers' struggle in Hanumangarh district intensifies

    Dharna front of Bank_9 Aug18On 7th August 2018, farmers from Ramgarh block in Hanumangarh district blocked the traffic on the Delhi-Ganganagar highway. The peasants were forced to resort to these measures after the administration failed to arrive at satisfactory outcome through negotiations and discussion. 1350 farmers from nearby village have been demanding that they should immediately be given compensation under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme). The government and the administration have been denying them their due under various excuses, although the farmers have been depositing their premium amount regularly into the state bank account. The banks have refused payment of compensation to the farmers when they approached the bank for compensation for their damaged crops under the scheme. As a result of the nexus between the bank and the private insurance companies, the farmers have been denied crop insurance compensation to the tune of Rs. 8 to10 crore. The farmers are demanding that the government should take the responsibility to ensure that the farmers are compensated for crop damage.


    Central government’s decision to replace UGC with new regulatory body:

    Another step towards privatization of higher education

    On June 29 the central government announced that it will dissolve the University Grants Commission (UGC) and replace it with a new Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), which will become the new regulator for higher education in India. The HECI will be mandated to focus solely on academic matters. It will not have the power to disburse funds to colleges and universities. At the same time, the HECI is to be vested with a whole host of additional powers of laying down standards of teaching, assessment and research and evaluating the performance of higher educational institutions. It can order the "closure of institutions" and if a university violates any norm which the Commission lays down, then it faces penalty; on not paying the penalty its chief executive can be jailed for up to three years.


    Privatisation is anti-worker and anti-social

    Beginning with the sale of Modern Food Industries Limited and Bharat Aluminium Limited Company in January, 2000, successive governments have been relentlessly pursuing the course of selling public sector companies to private monopolies. During the ten years when the Congress Party was in charge (2004-14), public assets worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore were sold to private companies. During the past four years when the BJP has been in charge (2014-18), nearly Rs 2 lakh crore of public assets have been sold.

    Attacks on workers’ rights to secure capitalist profits

    The Central Government has prepared a draft law called Code of Industrial Relation to replace several existing laws — the Industrial Disputes Act, the Trade Unions Act and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act. The new Code will make it even more difficult for workers to form trade unions. It virtually bans strikes, imposing heavy penalty for joining and organizing a strike. It allows employers the power to unilaterally change the service conditions of workers.

    Denial of social security for workers, peasants and toilers

    Only a very small section of workers in our country are formally covered by social security benefits like Provident Fund, Employees State Insurance (ESI) medical benefits, maternity benefits, accident compensation, gratuity, pension, etc. There is no social security for those who are unemployed, those who are injured at work, the sick and the aged. They are all left to fend for themselves.

    Land acquisition – in the interest of monopoly capitalists

    Massive struggles of peasants and tribal peoples all over India against forcible acquisition of their lands had forced the Congress-led UPA government to repeal the colonial Land Acquisition Act and replace it with a new Act in 2013. This new act was not acceptable to the big capitalists who are eager to expedite the process of acquiring land for their profitable projects. Repeated efforts by the BJP-led NDA government to change the 2013 Act, in favour of the big capitalists, have so far failed in the face of the united resistance of peasants and workers.

    Liberalisation programme has ruined the peasantry and agriculture

    Peasants of India have launched a powerful struggle to force the central and state governments to take immediate measures to guarantee them secure livelihood. More and more peasant organisations in different states are joining the struggle for rights. The liberalization programme of the Indian state has ruined the peasantry over the last two decades and more. Agriculture has been increasingly integrated with the global market. State support for farmers has been cut back. Big capitalist companies have expanded their presence in the market for agricultural inputs and outputs.

    Trade Unions of Delhi meet with the Labour Minister

    Meeting withe lebore ministerThe 20th July industrial strike action organized by all the Trade Unions of Delhi concluded successfully. The strike action was called by 11 trade unions and several workers’ organisations. Lakhs of workers participated in this across several industries and services. On 9th August, Delhi’s Labour Minister called for a meeting with the representatives of the 11 trade unions.


    Successful strike by the workers of Delhi

    ThumbnailOn 20th July, 2018 workers in Delhi carried out a successful strike for their demands, in response to the appeal by various trade unions. Thousands of workers came out on to streets. Work in many industries came to a standstill. A joint committee of AITUC, CITU, INTUC, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, TUCC, AICCTU, Seva, UTUC and LPF had together given the call for the protest. Many other trade unions also contributed to making the strike a great success.


    Farmers agitation in Ramgarh, Rajasthan: Farmers gherao bank when deprived of crop insurance benefit

    thumbnailFarmers started an indefinite dharna in front of the State Bank in the Ramgarh sub-district on 27th July 2018 to press for their demand of payment of crop insurance benefits.

    Earlier on 26th June 2018, hundreds of farmers had started the agitation with the same demand. On that occasion, agitating farmers assembled at the bank. They made a human chain to encircle had the bank and started a dharna.


    Minimum support prices announcement - a fraud and deception

    thumbnailGovernment announced the minimum support prices (MSP) for 14 kharif crops on 4th July 2018. It claimed that it is fulfilling its election promise by offering 50% over the cost of production.

    Within days of the announcement, hundreds of farmers' unions and organisations denounced this fraud by the government. The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), which is an unbrella organisation of some 200 farmers organisation, has termed the announcements as a "historic betrayal". It has announced that it will organise hundreds of meetings all over the country in the next four months to expose the fraud. It took out a black-flag demonstration to Parliament Street on 20th July 2018 in which thousands of farmers from all parts of India participated. While the debate on the no-confidence motion was going on in the Parliament against the government, the farmers outside the parliament had already expressed their no-confidence in the government.


    Second draft of National Register for Citizens to be released: Tense situation in Assam

    thumbnailOn July 30, the second draft of the National Register for Citizens (NRC) for Assam is expected to be released by the Indian State. An extremely tense situation prevails in Assam as people wait anxiously to find out whether their names will be on the list or not. It is reported that the first draft of the NRC which was released on January 1, 2018 had the names of 1.9 crore people in it, of the 3.29 crore applicants. The fate of the remaining 1.39 crore people, or over 42% of the applicants, was kept hanging after the first list was declared. There is widespread fear amongst these people, that their names might be excluded in the second list as well.


    One more step towards privatisation of the Indian Railways

    thumbnailModi led-government is planning to take one more step towards privatisation of the Indian Railways while continuing to claim that it would never be privatised. Corporatisation and Public-Private-Partnership have been the frequently used methods lately towards privatisation of the Indian Railways. Under corporatisation, an existing activity or asset is separated from the Indian Railways and handed over to a new public sector company. Later on the shares of the new public sector company are sold part by part to capitalists.


    Engine drivers hold 48 hour collective fasting throughout the country

    thumbnailOn 17th and 18th of July 2018, tens of thousands of engine drivers belonging to the Indian Railways and led by the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA), went on a 48 hour fast. Under the leadership of All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA), the engine drivers observed collective fasting and held dharnas in support of their demand in various divisions of the Indian Railways. There are about 85,000 engine drivers in the Indian Railways


    Thousands protest against NATO Summit

    Anti-NATO protests in EuropeThe days leading up to the NATO Summit in Brussels on July 11-12, 2018 witnessed massive protests against war, demanding disarmament and peace and a solution to the urgent problems facing the masses of people.

    Thousands of people participated in protest demonstrations in Brussels on July 7. The protests were organised by Belgian peace, environment, development and human rights organizations, as well as unions and activists from across Europe, under the banner of the international network “No to war – No to NATO.”


    State terrorism in Kashmir: Resolution of the problem demands a political solution

    Andleeb killedDay in and day out, the people of Kashmir, men and women, girls and boys, have been coming out onto the streets, with death defying courage, asserting their right to decide their own affairs. No amount of brutality unleashed by the Indian state has lessened the resolve of the Kashmiri people to carry forward their struggle.


    Trade unions under attack: Unite and fight the attacks on the workers' movement

    Mazdoor sangathan samitiThe Workers movement all over the country is faced with savage attacks by the capitalist class on their right to organise themselves into unions. The State machinery, including the governments at the Center and in the states, and the courts, are working at the behest of the capitalist class to crush workers trying to organise themselves in defence of their rights. Workers unions are being declared illegal, and trade union organisers are being jailed on false charges for years on end.


    Bridge collapse in monsoor rains in Mumbai: One more bridge collapse – One more callous response!

    Mumbai bridge-collapsesOn 3rd July at around 7.30 in the morning a part of the pedestrian bridge collapsed on the railway track near Andheri suburban railway station in Mumbai. Just a few seconds earlier, a local train carrying thousands of passengers had passed below this bridge. The alert motorman of another packed local train which had just started from Andheri station stopped it with the help of emergency brakes, thus avoiding a very major calamity. It has been reported that 5 people have been injured due to this mishap.


    US sanctions on Iran: Condemn the US pressure on India to stop buying oil from Iran

    US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Hailey visited India at the end of June and held talks with PM Narendra Modi and other senior ministers. One of the main purposes of her visit was to ensure that India abandons its current close relations with Iran, and stops oil imports from that country.

    70 years of the National Health Service in Britain: Celebrate and Save

    National Health Service in BritainLondon witnessed on 30 June 2018, thousands of people including health workers, their trade unions and staff associations, come out on the roads. The demonstration was to show people’s opposition to the wrecking of the British National Health Service (NHS). Many of those who took part have been fighting to save their local health services and hospitals and safeguard the future of NHS. The NHS was established in 1948 on the principle that good healthcare should be available to all, irrespective of their ability to pay.


    Pledge of Kisan-Mazdoor Ekta Sammelan in Rajasthan: Struggle is the only way forward

    Rajasthan kisan Sabha - 150A Kisan Mazdoor Ekta Sammelan (convention) of peasants and workers was organized on 10th June 2018 in Netrana village of Bhadra block in Rajasthan’s Hanumangadh district, to demand a stop to theft of water from all 4 canals and to repair the outlet of Amar Singh Branch of the canal. This conference was held on the occasion of the 81st anniversary celebrations of former Sarpanch late Master Hanuman Prasad Varma.


    DUTA resumes agitation

    Duta dharna 2 Jul 2018Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) organised a dharna at Parliament on July 2, 2018, resuming their agitation against retrogressive recruitment policy for teachers and against privatisation of higher education. Earlier, teachers of Delhi University and its affiliated colleges had struck work from May 9 to June 19, to oppose the changes in recruitment policy for teachers notified by the UGC on March 5 and the move to privatize higher education by giving autonomous status to specific colleges. As part of their agitation, the striking teachers boycotted the work of evaluation of the examinations.


    Farmers Continue to press for their demands

    thumbnailFarmers all across the country have been agitating for their long-standing demands to ensure that they are able to make a sustainable living from agriculture. The two main demands of the farmers that have widespread support are remunerative prices for their produce and a one-time waiver of loans. Both these demands are just and are in the general interest of society. However, governments at the Centre and in states do not want to seriously address the farmers' concerns since it will reduce the profits of monopolies dominating the agricultural trading.


    Agitation of the families of policemen in Chhattisgarh

    thumbnailSimmering anger amongst policemen of Chhattisgarh and their families at their oppressive working conditions and pitiable wages and allowances, has burst out in mass agitations. At the forefront of these agitations are women — the wives of serving policemen. Chhattisgarh has a police force of about 50,000. Wives of policemen have organized numerous protest actions in June in different district centers. On June 19, hundreds of women participated in a protest demonstration in Rajnandgaon. As part of the agitation police families from the districts near the capital Raipur announced a protest rally in Idgah Bhata Maidan in Raipur for June 24.


    Protest action by workers’ organisations at Delhi Secretariat: Workers in Delhi resolve to step up the struggle for their long-standing demands

    thumbnailAs a part of the ongoing mobilization and preparation for the workers’ strike in Delhi on July 20, a protest action was organized on June 27. Hundreds of workers gathered at Shahidi Park to march to the seat of the Delhi government. Banners of the different workers’ unions and organisations as well as banners and placards highlighting the workers’ demands could be seen all over the park, from every tree, fence, pillar and pole.


    Delhi University teachers’ struggle: Against retrogressive changes in recruitment policy and against privatisation of higher education

    thumbnailTeachers of Delhi University and its affiliated colleges, organized under the banner of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), struck work from May 9 to June 19. The strike was to oppose retrogressive changes in recruitment policy for teachers and the move to privatize higher education by giving autonomous status to specific colleges. Both these moves have been notified by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Other issues include assessment of past services of teachers in promotion decisions and denial of pension to retired teachers.


    Joint Conference of Trade Unions: Strike on 20th July in Delhi

    thumbnailA 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.


    East Coast Railway: Joint protest of guards and loco pilots of Indian Railways

    On the 31st of May 2018 from 10 AM onwards, Guards and Loco Pilots of Indian Railways belonging to AIGC and AILRSA, jointly demonstrated at Titlagarh, Sambalpur Division, East Coast Railway. They were protesting against a notice issued by the local railway authorities of Sambalpur dated 29/05/2018, asking the Guards and Loco Pilots to carry trolley bags which would include all the safety equipment currently being used by Guards and Loco Pilots of the Indian Railways.

    Renationalisation of a Major Rail Route in Britain

    thumbnailSuccessive governments in India have slyly and stealthily been doing step by step privatisation of the Indian Railways. Privatisation of British Rail has often been cited to justify privatisation moves in our country. The Bibek Debroy Committee recommended that Indian Railways should follow the privatisation model of Britain. It said, "The key lesson from the UK is to retain the rail-track and infrastructure as a publicly-owned monopoly, while opening up rolling stock operations for passengers and freight to the private sector." This Committee conveniently did not state that privatisation of British Rail has not delivered the promised results to its users and that now due to their pressure and that of the workers, has been forced to partially renationalise certain routes.


    Bank workers' two-day strike

    thumbnailOn 30th May 2018, thousands of bank workers militantly demonstrated in front of the Head Office of State Bank of India on Parliament street in Delhi. Similar was the sight in front bank head offices and branches all over India. More than a million bank workers and officers throughout the country have struck work on 30th and 31st May to press for their demand of hike in salaries.


    Jan Ekta, Jan Adhikar andolan: Thousands march against increasing attacks on livelihood and rights

    thumbnailOn May 23, the streets of Central Delhi resounded with slogans “Stop the growing attacks on our livelihood and rights!”, “Long live unity of workers, peasants, women and youth!”, “Stop looting the working people!”, “Stop filling the pockets of the big capitalists!”, “Stop selling out our country and our natural resources!”, “We will not tolerate the growing attacks on women!”, “Government should fulfill its duty of providing security to women!”, “Down with communal violence and attacks on the basis of caste!”, “We want jobs, education, health!”, and many others.


    March for the Alternative: Tens of thousands take to London's streets demanding new direction of the economy

    thumbnailOn Saturday 12th May, tens of thousands of working people descended on central London, calling for a new deal for workers and for public services. There were about 30,000 workers in their trade union contingents, representing branches and regions all over the UK, from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the North East, North West, Midlands, South West, South East, Eastern and London. They came to London from all walks of life - unions representing manufacturing workers, local authority staff, shop and retail employees, transport and education workers all marched together in an impressive display of unity and determination.


    Farmers protest regarding irrigation water supply

    thumbnailOn 16th May, 2018, farmers in Sirsa district of Haryana protested outside the office of the Superintending Engineer demanding that water should be released into canals for irrigation. Farmers are rightly angry about the fact that water is not being released into canals. In their appeal to the CM, they have clearly written that if the government does not provide a just hearing to their demands then they will be forced to call for a massive protest of farmers in the region.


    Struggle of MGNREGA contract workers

    thumbnailOn 10th May, diverse organisations held a rally from the Panchayat Committee office to the Sub Divisional Office (SDO) in Nohar city, Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. The rally demonstrated solidarity with MGNREGA contract workers who were protesting in front of the Panchayat Committee office. The rally was organized under the banner of the All Rajasthan State Joint Workers’ Federation (Akhil Rajasthan Sanyukt Karmachari Mahasangh). Similar rallies were held in front of Panchayat Committee offices in the entire region.


    Rail workers observed black days and stepped up their struggle

    thumbnailBetween 14th to16th May 2018, rail drivers observed protest days in response to the call of the Central Committee of the All India Loco Running Staff Association. On these three days, train drivers worked while wearing black bands. Demonstrations and rallies were held in front of headquarters of numerous Railway Boards across the country. In many areas, members of railway Guards’ Councils also participated in the protests.


    All India Guards Council to hold its 37th Biennial General Body Meeting

    The All India Guards Council (AIGC) will be holding its Biennial General Body Meeting (BEGM) at Puri, Orissa on 25th-26th May 2018. The AIGC is the representative union of 28,000 Guards of the Indian Railways. At the forthcoming BEGM nearly a thousand delegates from the 16 Railway Zones of the Indian Railways will be participating in the two day deliberations when they will also be electing the new office bearers. The problems of the guards of the Indian Railways are to be discussed, both the common problems as well as zone/ division/ branch specific problems.

    Thousands march in Bhivandi declaring: India UNITES Against Rape and Murder! The State CANNOT Divide Us on a Communal Basis!

    Militant demonstration in Bhiwandi on women's safety issueThe bestial multiple rape and murder of 8-year old Asifa in Kathua, the rape and torture of the Unnao girl by the MLA, the untold miseries including rape suffered by the Surat girl before her murder – all these have shaken up the people of our country. The involvement of the police and MLA in these crimes, the shameless support given by ministers of the Jammu and Kashmir government to the perpetrators of the Kathua crime, the UP government’s role in trying to shield the MLA of its party as well as the prolonged silence of the PM before he reluctantly came out with a couple of sentences once again revealed the thoroughly anti-people nature of the state. People all over the country are raising their voice in protest. They realise that unless they unite and fight, these crimes will be pushed under the carpet and the criminals will go scot-free.


    A year of workers' struggles!

    Terad union Satyagarh Various sections of the working class in India and across the world have been out on the streets time and again over the past year in defence of their rights. In India, the bourgeoisie has unleashed an offensive on the rights of the workers in the interest of “ease of doing business” of the monopoly capitalists. The working class resistance culminated in several joint actions of workers through the year. Workers from across sectors of the economy expressed their opposition to the privatisation programme of the bourgeoisie.


    Agitation to close down the polluting Sterlite Copper plant: Central and state governments do the bidding of monopolies against the will of the people

    Sterlite Copper plant Tens of thousands of people of Thoothukudi district in Tamilnadu have come out on the streets demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper plant functioning in their region. They have been continuously agitating for over two months and the agitation is spreading to many other areas in Thoothukudi and to many cities of Tamilnadu. People from all walks of life including fishermen, auto rickshaw unions, mini bus drivers, salt pan workers, tea stall vendors, small manufacturer's association, joined the agitation showing that there is widespread concern.


    Working class continues to draw inspiration from May Day

    thumbnailThe working class of India has been bravely resisting the massive attack of the ruling class on its rights to organise and to fight for better conditions of work. Workers belonging to the transport, construction, railway, IT and other sectors, anganwadi workers, teachers and doctors have come out in huge demonstrations. Coming May Day will be a great inspiration for them to forge their unity and take their struggles to greater heights.


    Militant protest action demands punishment for the guilty of the Kathua and Unnao rape crimes

    thumbnailWomen’s groups and youth organisations participated in a militant protest action at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on April 12, 2018, demanding punishment for the perpetrators of the ghastly rape crimes in Kathua in Jammu and Unnao in UP. Hundreds of women, men, students and youth gathered at Jantar Mantar and marched to Parliament. Activists of AIDWA, NFIW, AIPWA, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, CSW, Swastika Mahila Samiti, Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan, AISA, SFI, KYS and other organisations participated in the protest action. A public rally was held at the Parliament, which was addressed by leaders of all the participating organisations.


    Martyrdom Day celebrated in Kanyakumari

    thumbnailOn 23rd March 1931, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hung by British rulers. The visionary ideas of these martyrs have been such a source of inspiration for the people of India that public meetings and rallies are held all over the country, including South India, around this occasion. The message and deeds of these martyrs are so popular and well-known in Kanyakumari district, in the southern tip of Tamilnadu, that communist parties, trade unions, peasants and youth organisations recall their sacrifice with fervour by organising public meetings, rallies, discussions and debates and putting up posters all theouhg the district.


    Youth of Manipur denounce falsification of the history and identity of Manipur

    Youth and students of Manipur have reacted angrily against a speech made on March 28 by the Manipur Chief Minister, Nongthombam Biren Singh, in Porbandar, Gujarat, in which he asserted that Manipur, Arunachal, Nagaland and other parts of the North East had been part of India “since the time of Bhagwan Sri Krishna”. He claimed that the age-old unity of the North East with the rest of India was disrupted thereafter, and then thanked PM Narendra Modi for having reestablished this unity.


    Doctors and medical students agitate against the NMC Bill

    thumbnailYoung doctors and medical students all over the country observed a Halla Bol dharna in their respective medical colleges and hospitals on April 2, 2018. The dharna had been organized to oppose the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, which the central government proposes to introduce. The dharna was organized under the banner of the Medicos Youth Nation Action Council (MYNAC).


    Demand to change passenger train schedule: Demonstration at Nohar Railway station

    thumbnailA protest demonstration was organized on 4th April under the leadership of Lok Raj Sangathan at Nohar station in Hanumangadh district. The action was in support of a five-point demand in connection with the demand for change in timing of the Sadalpur-Hanumangadh passenger train 04778.

    Several organisations and their leaders participated in this dharna along with Lok Raj Sangathan. A petition was submitted to the Zonal Manager of Western Railways, in the course of the dharna. Representatives of the various organisations addressed the dharna.


    Demand for halting trains in small stations and for better train timings: Rail roko agitation Ramgarh

    Rail Roko in RJThe villagers of Ramgarh, a sub tehsil in Hanuman district of Rajasthan, blocked the passage of Sadulpur to Sriganganagar train in the afternoon of 26 March 2018 at the Ramgarh station. The villagers were angry at the sudden decision of the officials to remove Ramgarh halt for many passenger trains including the Hanumangarh–Sadulpur Passenger. The officials also changed the time table of passenger trains plying on this route so that the trains were no longer useful to the villagers.


    Teachers and students protest privatization of higher education

    DUDA and JNUTAAt the call of DUTA-FEDCUTA (Delhi University Teachers Association-Federation of Central Universities Teachers Associations), tens of thousands of students and teachers held a militant protest march in New Delhi, from Mandi House to Parliament, on March 28. Students and teachers from nearly all colleges and departments of Delhi University attended the protest march. Teachers and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Milia Islamia University, Ambedkar University and Aligarh Muslim University were also present in large numbers. Several students and youth organisations participated with their banners, including AISF, SFI, AISA, CYSS, KYS, etc. The protestors raised slogans denouncing the so-called Graded Autonomy Scheme announced by the government as a step towards increasing privatisation of higher education. They held placards in their hands bearing slogans such as "Stop commercialisation of education!", "Higher education is our right!", "We ask for our rights, not for your favours!", "Stop playing with the future of our youth!", etc.


    Regional Convention of the AILRSA

    ThumbnailThe 21st Bi-annual Regional Convention of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) held on 18-19 March 2018 in Muradabad was a resounding success.

    Representatives from the Delhi, Muradabad, Lucknow, Meerut, Jind, Firozpur, Pathankot, Ambala, Panipat, Dehradun and Bareilly branches and bodies of the AILRSA vigorously participated in the Convention.


    Railway apprentices stage rail roko in Mumbai

    ThumbnailIn the early morning of Tuesday 20th March 2018 at 7 a.m, thousands of apprentices who had completed their apprentice training in the Indian Railways occupied the railway tracks between Dadar and Matunga on the Central Railway lines in the heart of Mumbai city. They remained on the tracks till 11 a.m, completely paralysing the morning rush hour train movements on the Central Railways.


    Martyr day celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the country: Intensify struggle for a society free from exploitation

    23 march shahidi diwasOn 23rd March 1931, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hung by British rulers. The visionary ideas of these martyrs have been a source of inspiration for the workers, peasants, women and youth of this country who have been constantly striving to establish a society free from all forms of exploitation.

    Rallies, public meetings and consultations were organised on 23rd March 2018 by communists and other progressive people all over the country. They took inspiration from the revolutionary struggles of our people against colonialism, imperialism and capitalism. On this inspiring occasion, they pledged to organise workers, peasants, women, youth and students to build a new India free from exploitation. An India which will be completely free from capitalist exploitation, imperialist loot, feudal and casteist oppression, oppression of women and communal violence.


    We salute the determined farmers of Maharashtra!

    Farmers marching from Nasik to Mumbai

    Since 6th March attention of entire Maharashtra was focused on thousands of farmers who started their Long March to Mumbai from Nashik, under the leadership of the Maharashtra unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha. A 1.5 km long river of red seemed to flow along the highway as more than 30 thousand farmers, young and old, men and women, walked nearly 200 kms in scorching heat, many of them barefoot, waving red flags with hammer and sickle and reached Azad Maidan in Mumbai in the early hours of 12th March. It was indeed a magnificent scene. Braving all odds and various attempts by the government of Maharashtra to scare them and to split them, these farmers in one voice declared to the gathered media that “it is better to die fighting for our rights here, rather than dying hungry in our fields!” It is this single minded determination which forced the Maharashtra government to concede some of their demands.


    Communist parties condemn the attempts of the State to spread hatred and terror

    Leaders and activists of thumbe Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Ghadar Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), Revolutionary Socialist Party of India and All India Forward Bloc participated in a joint demonstration from Jantar Mantar to Parliament, on March 9. The demonstration was organized to protest against the systematic campaign organized by the state, to spread terror and hatred among people, following the electoral victory of the BJP in the Tripura state assembly elections.


    Anganwadi workers continue their militant struggle

    AnganwariNearly 500 Anganwadi workers from all blocks of Gurgaon struck work for a week from 19th to 26th February. They demonstrated outside the residence of Rao Narbir Singh the Public Works Department minister in protest against low wages and oppressive work conditions. The workers demanded that their salaries be increased to Rs 18,000 per month and that they be given benefits such as health insurance and pension.


    TN state transport workers protest victimization

    thumbOn 6th March, the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) employees associated with a number of trade unions staged a demonstration outside TNSTC Madurai’s headquarters demanding the reinstatement of 11 employees suspended during the TNSTC employees’ week-long strike across the State in January. The employees also demanded the withdrawal of cases filed against these 11 employees of TNSTC Madurai by the police.


    Growing protests of peasants across the country

    All across the country, farmers are marching in defence of their demands for state procurement of their produce at remunerative prices and for cancellation of their debts. They are protesting in various ways to show their anger that their demands have remained unfulfilled. Time and again, various governments at the centre and in the states have criminally betrayed their promises. Farmers are determined to fight for their right to life and security of livelihood.

    Condemn the use of ESMA against the Nagpur Municipal Corporation transport workers

    The indefinite strike launched by drivers and conductors of Nagpur city bus service followed a familiar pattern - a pattern which has become a norm across the country, irrespective of which party is in power in the state or in municipal corporation. The Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) was invoked and the strike was declared illegal!

    Guards of Indian Railways demonstrate all over India

    thumbAs reported in February 16-28, 2018 edition of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar, at the call of the All India Guards Council, Guards of Indian Railway all over India wore black badges on the 18th, 19th and 20th of January 2018 to protest the anti-worker policies of the Railway Authorities and the Central Government and presented their charter of demands.


    Resident doctors oppose cut in salaries by the BMC

    Around 2000 resident doctors attached to civic-run public hospitals of the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC), got a shock in receiving their monthly stipend on Friday 9th February 2018. They found that over half the sum had been, for the first time ever, deducted in taxes! Members of the central committee of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) at a press conference on Saturday 10th February 2018 explained that they all resident doctors are students who pay yearly fees to the respective colleges and are given a stipend in lieu of the back breaking work they do in hospitals. The Income Tax Act clearly mentions that tax must be deducted at source only from salary and other professional earnings etc. Hence it is only applicable to those who are employed.

    Struggle of the staff of Sinhgad Institute of Technology and Sciences (SITS), Pune for the payment of pending salaries!

    thumbThe Sinhgad Institute of Technology and Sciences (SITS) is spread across seven major campuses sprawled over a large area in and around Pune, the educational centre of Maharashtra. The Institute received state support for acquiring the land for the campuses at concessional rates. It has received many other concessions as well. It has built colleges for engineering, medical and pharmacy. With close to 70,000 students enrolled, it charges hefty fees and collects donations. However it does not meet its obligations towards the teachers and staff that it has hired. The government is looking on while it hires teachers and staff on contract or on temporary status, notwithstanding that they do regular full-time work. Worse, they have not been paid their salaries for months.


    Tens of thousands march and demonstrate to demand a new direction for the NHS

    thumbTens of thousands of people from all over England took part on Saturday 3rd February, in a day of action demanding a new direction for the National Health Service (NHS) and an end to its privatisation. In London, 60,000 marched in the cold and rain through the centre of town to a rally outside Downing Street (where the Prime Minister’s official residence is located).


    BEST workers oppose privatization drive : Privatization of transport undertakings is anti-people!

    thumbBrihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) is one of the world’s largest metro transport corporation. It is managed by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and caters to the needs of more than 30 lakh commuters every day. On 12th February 2018, the BEST management committee announced its decision to hire 200 mini non-AC buses, 200 mini-AC buses and 50 midi-buses on wet lease from private contractors. Under this type of arrangement, buses are leased from private contractors along with driver and are also maintained by the contractor.


    Workers are demanding an end to contract system – Government is offering fixed-term contracts!

    It has been reported in media that the Union Government has issued a draft notification on Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central (Amendment) Rules, 2018, dated 8th January, which will allow all businesses to offer fixed-term contracts to workers. This will enable industries to hire workers for short-term assignments and terminate their services once the projects are completed.

    Hail the 75th anniversary of the heroic victory over Nazi fascism at Stalingrad!

    ThumbnailOn 2 February 1943, the armies of Hitler’s Germany suffered their greatest defeat in World War II at the hands of the heroic people of the Soviet Union led by the Bolshevik Party and Comrade Stalin, at the city of Stalingrad. The military and civilian casualties of this epic struggle that lasted more than 5 months amounted to nearly 2 million people – a mind-boggling figure. The Nazi forces had thrown lakhs of their most tested military forces into their campaign to conquer the socialist Soviet Union. But they were halted at Stalingrad, an industrial city of 500,000 people on the banks of the Volga river, which was the gateway to the rich oil resources of the Caspian region. The rallying cry for the defenders of Stalingrad was Not One Step Back!


    Forum for IT Employees registered in Maharashtra

    It was victory for the IT professionals of Maharashtra that their union - Forum for I.T. Employees (FITE) has been registered in Maharashtra. The committee members of FITE, Maharashtra along with the representative of Lok Raj Sangathan and the President of the union of Bajaj Auto employees announced this at a press conference held on 13th January 2018.


    Indian Railways running staff agitate against proposal to reduce pay element in salaries

    ThumbnailThe members of All India Guards Council (AIGC) and All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) representing the guards and engine drivers of the Indian Railways all over India demonstrated in front of their respective Divisional Railway Manager's (DRM) office on 4th February 2018. They were protesting against a proposal of the Running Allowance Committee to reduce the pay element in the calculation of the revised mileage rate. The Running Allowance Committee is constituted by the Railway Board, which is the top decision making body of the Indian Railways.


    Peasants to launch all-India agitation against the budget

    Kisan rallyAt a press conference in Delhi on 6th Ferburary, the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) announced its plans to start coordinated week-long protests in 1000 locations across the country. Nearly 200 farmer associations have rejected the Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister on 1st February as “anti-farmer”.


    Condemn the continued repression of Bajaj Auto workers in Pune!

    thumbBajaj Auto is one of the large auto firms based in Pune. The Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana union put up a militant fight in January-February of this year against the Bajaj Auto owners for the fulfilment of a number of demands. These demands have been pending since the past four years. For example, the issue of illegal and unjust termination of 8 workers has been pending since 2013. Further, the issue of uncalled-for transfer of 6 workers from Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant to other plants (Bajaj Auto has plants in Aurangabad and Pantnagar) too has been pending since 2016.


    Protest action in Delhi against growing Indo-Israel ties!

    protest against Israeli PMA militant march was organized at the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi on January 15, to protest against the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India. The demonstration was organized jointly by the seven communist parties – Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) – Liberation, Revolutionary Socialist Party, All India Forward Bloc, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) and Communist Ghadar Party of India.


    “Restructuring” of Indian Railways is a program to wreck a valuable public asset so as to fulfil monopoly

    ‘Restructuring’ means is to convert Indian Railways into a set of profit-oriented businesses, run by private companies with no social responsibility. It means to wreck a public asset to fulfil the private interests of capitalist monopoly houses. ... The Railway Board Chairman a few days back while addressing monopoly capitalists, interested in participating in the privatization of railways. He announced, “We are running a purely commercial business in a sarkari way”, and assured them, “The Indian Railways is undertaking massive structural, cultural and process reforms to improve ease of doing business.”

    Electoral Bonds – a legal route for the big capitalists to fund their parties

    On 4th January, 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitly announced details of a proposed scheme of issuing Electoral Bonds for financing political parties. Only those parties will be eligible for donations through electoral bonds which received at least 1% of the votes in the last general elections to the Lok Sabha or State assembly. ... what the Electoral Bonds Scheme will achieve is to make it possible for individual capitalists and companies to contribute large sums of money to their favoured political parties legally and without involving cash. As before, who gave how much to which party will remain hidden from public view.

    Parliamentary Committee opposes Air India privatization, yet the Government goes ahead on its privatization course

    According to news reports, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has come out with a report strongly opposing privatization of Air India. The Committee estimates that given 5 more years, it is possible to revive Air India as a profit making company. In its final report, the Committee is expected to recommend that the government should write off the debt of Air India and stop its plans to privatize Air India.

    Transport workers in Tamilnadu achieve partial victory!

    ThumbnailTransport workers belonging to 17 trade unions in Tamilnadu, had gone on an indefinite strike after rejecting the government's proposal to hike the wages of the transport workers by 2.44%. There are about 1.4 lakh workers in the state's transport department to handle a fleet of 22,500 buses. Over 2 crore passengers use the services with buses travelling a total of 88.64 lakh km daily.


    Anganwadi, ASHA and Mid-day meal workers rally in New Delhi

    ThumbnailMore than 800 Anganwadi, ASHA and Mid-day meal workers took part in a militant protest demonstration from Mandi House to Parliament in New Delhi on January 17. The action was organized at the call of the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions, including Mazdoor Ekta Committee, CITU, AITUC, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU, UTUC, HMS, LPF, SEWA and INTUC.

    The demonstrators were prevented from advancing towards Parliament by the Delhi police. However, due to the militant resistance put up by the protesting workers and their leaders, especially the women workers, the police were forced to relent.


    160,000 industrial workers strike in Germany

    ThumbnailAround 160,000 employees in the automotive, steel and electrical industries have engaged in token strikes, called by the IG Metall union, in the first week of January 2018. The union is currently negotiating a new wage contract for 3.9 million workers in Germany’s largest industrial sector. The actions include workers at Porsche, Daimler, Bosch and other auto, auto parts and electrical companies like Siemens and AEG.


    Guards of Indian Railways agitate for their just demands

    Guards sit on hunger strike with loco pilots in DelhiAt the call of the All India Guards’ Council (AIGC), Guards of the Indian Railways wore black badges while performing their duty, on 18th, 19th and 20th of January 2018, all across India. The black badges highlighted four of their demands: a) Decide Justified Kilometre Allowance Rates at the earliest b) Cancel EOTT (End of Train Territory) Machines that are planned to be introduced in goods trains to replace guards c) Withdraw the New Pension Scheme (NPS) that was introduced in 2004 and restore the old Pension Scheme. d) Withdraw anti-labour policies.


    Indian Railway Guards on East Coast Railway unite to improve their conditions

    From Nov 30th to Dec 8th 2018, a team of Central Office Bearers, the representative body of the Guards of the Indian Railways led by Com. A.K. Srivastava, All India Secretary of All India Guards’ Council (AIGC), toured the East Coast Railway, which covers the coast of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, with the aim of uniting the Guards in this region to improve their working conditions. The tour covered various Railway junctions in this region - Sambalpur, Talcher, Paradeep, Khurda Road, Puri, Vishakhapatnam, etc. Mazdoor Ekta Lehar’s Mumbai Correspondent spoke to Com. A.K.Srivastava, in this context and we are presenting a Report of the information provided by him.

    Right to education on sale in Maharashtra!

    ThumbnailIn December 2017, the Government of Maharashtra took two decisions regarding education which have far reaching consequences. In the first week it declared that it would close down 1314 schools in the state. The Education Minister of Maharashtra justified this decision by saying that since these schools have less than 10 students, as per the Right to Education Act (RTE) provisions, the state has the right to close down such schools! He further shamelessly stated that actually as per the RTE Act, schools with less than 20 students can be closed down, which will mean closure of more than 12000 schools as per the survey conducted in 2009, but since government is concerned about primary education it has decided to shut down only around 3000 schools!


    Jharkhand government bans trade union

    On 22nd December, the Jharkhand government announced the ban of the Mazdoor Sangathan Samiti (MSS), a registered trade union that has been in existence for 30 years. The state government invoked Section 16 of the draconian Indian Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908 (CLAA). Following the ban, 10 office bearers of the organization were charged under Section 17 of the CLAA and arrested the next day. The CLAA empowers the state government to declare an organization “unlawful” if the government in its “opinion” believes that the organization “interferes or has for its objective interference in administration of law and maintenance of law and order or constitutes danger to public peace”.

    Workers in ‘Essential Services’ sectors fight for their rights

    ThumbnailOver 50,000 state transport workers in Tamil Nadu went on a flash strike starting on January 4 after the government refused to meet their demands for payment of their arrears and parity in wage increase with workers of other government departments and state enterprises. The strike began in Chennai and spread to other towns and districts in Tamilnadu. 4th and 5th January witnessed a near total strike with over 90% of buses not operating on their routes. Even after attempts by the government to force contract workers to act as substitutes, the strike remained successful.


    There is no justification for the privatisation of Air India

    The recommendation of Niti Aayog to privatise Air India through “strategic disinvestment” is motivated by the private greed of the monopoly capitalists who control the Indian and global airline industry. Ministers and officials of the Government of India try to justify this decision by presenting various assertions, prejudices and so-called arguments, which are not convincing.


    Letters to Editor: Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Elections

    The article, “Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Elections: Elections in this system serve to maintain the rule of capitalist monopoly houses”, in the December 16-31 issue of MEL, has correctly pointed out that both the Congress and BJP when in command have implemented the program of the big capitalist monopoly houses and have pushed the program of capitalist globalisation at the expense of the working people.

    US decides to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

    A grave provocation against the Palestinian and Arab peoples

    ThumbnailUS president Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and start preparations for the US to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv constitutes a grave provocation against the Palestinian people. It is a deliberate move designed to further inflame tensions across West Asia.


    Rajasthan government unleashes savage repression on doctors

    ThumbnailOn the night of December 15 and the morning of December 16, the Rajasthan government launched a crackdown on doctors working in government run hospitals and health care centers in towns and villages across the state. At least 60 doctors were reported to have been picked up from their residences and workplaces by the police and arrested. Many other doctors have been forced to go into hiding to evade arrest.


    Release of Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project Report: A record of state terrorism in Punjab

    A recently-released report ‘Identifying the Unidentified’ by the Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP) states that over 8,000 extra-judicial executions and enforced disappearances took place in the state between 1985 and 1995. The Report is the result of seven years of investigation.

    Long live the martyrs of Kakori!

    ThumbnailA public meeting was organised on 19th December 2017, by the chapter of Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, in sub-district Ramgarh, in memory of the martyrs of the Kakori Conspiracy and to inspire the youth with their story. The sacrifice of Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, Chadrashekhar Azad, Ashwak Ullah Khan, Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and other martyrs was remembered.


    Militant demonstration and rally in New Delhi to mark 25 years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid

    ThumbnailThousands of activists of different political parties and organisations participated in a massive demonstration in New Delhi on December 6, 2017, to commemorate 25 years of the ghastly crime committed by our rulers against our people – the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and the state organized communal violence and massacres that followed. The demonstrators marched from Mandi House to Parliament, demanding punishment of the guilty and an end to state organized communal violence and genocide.


    Communist parties in India celebrate October Revolution

    ThumbnailCommunist parties and organisations of workers, peasants, women and youth celebrated the 100 years of the Great October Revolution all across the country. The centenary was marked by hoisting the red flag, taking out colourful rallies and organising seminars and public meetings. Some of the parties held classes for their cadres in several districts.


    Oppose the ID Act Amendments proposed by Maharashtra government

    The BJP government of Maharashtra had started pushing for amendment to ID Act in 2015, but they have been unsuccessful so far. The Maharashtra government has again proposed an amendment that would make it easier for factories with less than 300 workers to close down their factories or lay off workers without prior permission of the state government.

    Communist parties observe ‘Black Day’

    ThumbnailSeven communist parties – Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation, Communist Ghadar Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party, All India Forward Bloc and Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) – observed ‘Black Day against communalism and fascism’ on 6th December 2017. A protest march was held from Mandi House to Parliament in New Delhi.


    2017 – Struggles for rights

    ThumbnailWorkers across sectors, small and middle peasants, government employees, doctors, nurses and Aanganwadi workers were all out on the streets through the year in 2017. They protested against the rising attacks on their right to livelihood. They demanded that these attacks be halted and asserted their right to organise. Working people came out in large numbers against the demonetisation in November 2016 and against the GST introduced in July this year.


    What is the cause of the crisis of agriculture? What is the way out?

    An unprecedented mass united protest of peasants from all over the country took place on 20th November, on the eve of the winter session of Parliament. It was organised by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, an umbrella body of 184 peasant organisations. Their demands included a one-time waiver of bank loans to farmers and guaranteed public procurement of all crops at minimum support prices, of at least one and a half times the average cost of production, as recommended by the Swaminathan Committee.

    Recapitalisation of public sector banks: Making the people pay for the crisis caused by capitalist loan defaulters

    On 24th October, Finance Minister Jaitley announced that the Government of India plans to spend Rs 2,11,000 crore over the next two years to “recapitalise” the public sector banks. Under the Indradhanush plan announced in 2015, the government had announced that it would infuse Rs 70,000 crore of capital into the government owned banks over four years. Two years later, the capital to be put into the banks has risen by nearly three times.

    Interviews with Leaders of the Working Class Participating in the November 9-11 Mahapadav

    Correspondents of the Mazdoor Ekta Lehar interviewed many leaders of the working class who were participating in the Mahapadav. Below we publish excerpts of interviews with Comrade Prakash Rao of Communist Ghadar Party of India, Comrade Santosh Kumar, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Leader of Anganwadi workers Ms. M Chitralekha and .

    Government employees all over Rajasthan organise protest demonstrations: Full wages are our right, not a concession!

    ThumbnailOn November 20, 2017, government employees all over Rajasthan organised protest demonstrations and dharnas at their respective district headquarters, under the banner of the All Rajasthan State Employees Joint Committee. They submitted their memorandum of demands to the Chief Minister through their tehsildaars. Earlier, on November 9, the state employees had organised protests and dharnas at their respective collectors' offices and submitted their demands.


    Massive rally of farmers in Delhi

    ThumbnailTens of thousands of peasants came from all parts of India to participate in a massive protest action at the Parliament in New Delhi on 20th November 2017. The protest action was organised by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), consisting of over 180 organisations. Peasants came in large contingents from all corners of India.


    Massive 3-day workers rally in Delhi

    ThumbnailFor three days, November 9, 10 and 11, wave upon wave of workers from every state of the Indian Union joined in the massive All India workers protest (mahapadav) outside parliament.It was a veritable sea of workers. Red flags, placards proclaiming the demands of workers and banners of the participating unions adorned the mahapadav. It was literally a workers festival. Leaders of the working class addressed the workers, cultural workers sang songs in different languages inspiring the workers to step up their struggle for a society free from all forms of exploitation and oppression.


    33 years after the state-organised genocide of Sikhs in 1984: Let us carry forward the struggle for justice and punishment of the guilty!

    ThumbnailMembers and activists of communist parties and several organisations organized a joint action in New Delhi on 1st November 2017, to mark 33 years after the genocide of Sikhs and to reiterate their demand for punishment of the guilty.

    The joint action was organized by Lok Raj Sangathan, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Popular Front of India, Communist Ghadar Party of India, Sikh Forum, United Muslim Front, CPI (ML) - New Proletarian, Socialist Party (India), Social Democratic Party of India, Association for Protection of Civil Rights, South Asia Human Rights Defence Committee, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Welfare Party of India, Citizens for Democracy, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushavarat (Delhi state), Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Scientific Socialism Journal, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, NCHRO and the Student Islamic Organization.


    The citizenship question

    From the time of the promulgation of the Constitution of the Indian Republic on January 26, 1950, the position adopted by the Indian state on the citizenship question reveals a thoroughly communal outlook. The Indian state has used the question of citizenship to systematically inflame communal and sectarian passions and attack the unity of the people. It has used the citizenship issue to divert and disrupt the struggle of the different nations and peoples constituting India for their national rights.


    Condemn the State repression of Rajasthan doctors!

    ThumbnailTill the time of filing of this report on 12th November 2017, the strike of the government hospital doctors of Rajasthan was continuing. The state police has till now arrested more than hundred doctors. Some doctors have been dismissed. Doctors are being forced to break their strike. It may be noted that under the leadership of the All Rajasthan Employed Doctors Union, the doctors of the state government hospitals have continuously been agitating since August this year for their 33-point demands.


    Communist parties denounce demonetisation

    ThumbnailA militant demonstration and rally was organized in New Delhi on November 8, 2017, exactly a year after demonetisation was brutally imposed on our people by the BJP led central government. The demonstration was organized by the seven communist parties – Communist Ghadar Party of India, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, Socialist Unity Centre of India – Communist, All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party.


    Protests continue for health services

    Protests continue for health servicesAs of going to the press, the relay dharna led by the Ramgarh Satarkta evam Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti (Ramgarh Vigilance and Joint Struggle Committee) that has been going on since 18 October 2017 is continuing for their demands of filling vacancies at the Community Health Centre (CHC) and to make equipment necessary for treatment of patients available in the health centre in Ramgarh village of Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan.


    Maharashtra transport workers’ strike for pay revisions

    ​ST workers strike MumbaiBus services were completely paralysed in Maharashtra due to a five-day strike by the state transport workers. Lakhs of passengers use the 17,000 buses that operate across the state every day.

    The workers struck work on 16th October in support of their demands for better salaries. Maharashtra State ST Kamagar Sanghatana led the strike with the support of six other labour unions. The unions demanded revision to salaries based on the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. They had been negotiating with the administration but were determined to stick to their protest till their demands were realized.


    Mahindra workers win demands through resolute struggle 

    Mahindra workers demonstrationWorkers of two Mahindra plants in Uttarakhand (under the banner of Mahindra CIE workers organization) have won their demands after a resolute struggle that began on 18th May 2017 when their demands for an annual wage rise were not implemented. The struggle stretched over four months with workers using several forms of protest on the shop floor.


    “We shall unitedly work to eliminate railway accidents!” declare railway passengers and railway workers

    ThumbnailOn 27th October 2017, for the first time, in a path-breaking meeting, various Railway worker unions and passenger associations came together in Mumbai and denounced the Railway administration’s and Railway Ministry’s apathy towards the safety of railway passengers and workers. The initiative taken by Lok Raj Sangathan and Kamgar Ekta Committee in association with the All India Guards’ Council got a very good response, as a result of which more than 25 organisations came together to organize a seminar on the subject “Increasing Railway Accidents – Causes and Solution”.


    Delhi sanitation workers strike for wages and arrears

    Thumbnail16,000 sanitation workers of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) went on an indefinite strike on 11th October over non-payment of salaries and arrears. They also demanded cashless medical cards.

    Mukesh Vaidya, President of the All Municipal Corporation Sanitation Supervisors' Union clarified that the workers are justifiably demanding three months' salary and pending arrears, besides regularisation of staffers. He added that "We are fed up with the excuses given by the EDMC officials every month. It has been three months and we have not received salary.


    Punjab Anganwadi workers are determined to continue their struggle until their demands are met!

    ThumbnailAnganwadi workers’ union (Punjab), comprising of the workers and anganwadi helpers had called for a gherao of the chief minister’s residence in Patiala to press for their long pending demands. Despite Punjab police arresting many of their leaders on the eve of the gherao, and putting up all sorts of barricades, more than 25000 anganwadi workers managed to reach the railway station in Patiala by the morning of 23rd October. They were not allowed to get out of the railway station, so they continued their demonstration at the railway station.


    Protest at Department of Urban Development over hike in Metro fare

    Hike in Metro fareOn 23 October, 2017, the trade unions of Delhi held a protest at the Department of Urban Development demanding a repeal of the increase in metro fares.

    Workers, women and youth participated in great numbers along with trade union activists in the demonstration. The protesters shouted slogans like – ‘Take back the increased fare! Down with the anti-worker, anti-people policy of the government! The Central Government should come to its senses and reduce the metro fare! Long live the revolution!’


    The Code of Wages Bill 2017

    The Code on Wages Bill, 2017 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 10 August 2017 by the Modi government. The new bill is to replace the Payment of Wages Act -1936, the Minimum Wages Act – 1949, the Payment of Bonus Act - 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. The Wage Code Bill is a part of the so called labour law reforms that the government has undertaken by “rationalisation” of 38 Labour Acts.


    Judgment on Godhra train burning

    Judgments on several aspects of the 2002 Godhra train burning case were delivered by the Gujarat high court on 9th October.

    The Godhra train burning case refers to the train that was returning with passengers from the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya that had been demolished in 1992. As many as 59 pilgrims on board were charred to death when a coach of the train was set on fire. This incident was used to organize large scale massacres of Muslims across the state.


    Meeting in Ramgarh on the 111th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh

    ThumbnailOn 28th September 2017 on the occasion of the 111th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh a meeting was organized in Ramgarh, Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan. A large number of people gathered for this meeting. The meeting was chaired by the sarpanch of the gram Panchayat of Ramgarh, Banvarilaal Dev.


    Rousing programme in Kurukshetra on the occasion of Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary

    ThumbnailOn the 111th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the Jan Sangharsh Manch organized a revolutionary programme in Kurukshetra, Haryana. Thousands of workers, women and youth participated in the programme. In the morning, as a token of respect and in memory, flowers were placed on the statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh at the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Disha Sansthan. After this, a massive people’s march was led through the streets and lanes of the city with rousing slogans inspired by the revolutionary message of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. This march reached the Ramlila ground in Kurukshetra after which a large mass meeting was organized by the Jan Sangharsh Manch, Haryana.


    “We want to be treated as human beings and at par with Government employees” demand the Anganwadi workers of Maharashtra

    ThumbnailMore than 2 lakh Anganwadi workers working in more than 1.1 lakh Anganwadis in Maharashtra have started their strike struggle from 12th September’17. They are demanding that they be treated as human beings. They are demanding that they be treated on par with government workers and also demanding a salary hike as per their seniority. They are demanding that the minimum salary for a fresh recruit should be of Rs.7000/- per month going up to Rs.13,000/- per month for those who have been doing this work for the last 20 years.


    Hundreds participate in march against privatization of health services in Britain

    ThumbnailHundreds of people participated in a protest march against the privatization of the National Health Service (NHS). The march began at Southhall and culminated in a rally at Ealing common.

    The protest rally was organized in the wake of the concerted efforts of the British government to privatize the National Health Service, and close down various public hospitals.


    Mass opposition to the Privatisation of Government Schools in Rajasthan

    ThumbnailRecently the government of Rajasthan declared that it will hand over 300 government schools to private entities to operate under Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model. Following this declaration students, teachers and parents, and people across the state came on to the street to oppose this blatantly anti-social decision of the government.


    Privatisation of school education: The Indian State’s shameful abdication of duty and responsibility

    ThumbnailProviding good quality basic school education for children is widely recognized as a primary responsibility of the State in any modern society.

    A recent announcement by the Rajasthan government states that it will hand over 300 ‘poorly performing’ government schools to private hands, to be run on the public-private partnership model, in the name of “improving the quality of education”. This brings into focus the state of government school education in India and the abysmal failure of the State to fulfill this primary responsibility towards our people.


    Hundreds of thousands of workers oppose “labour reforms” in France

    France labour reformsSeptember 2017 witnessed several waves of strikes of workers in France against changes to the country’s labour laws. The changes, which are being fast-tracked via executive orders, are designed to give employers more flexibility to negotiate pay and conditions with their workers while reducing the costs of firing staff. More specifically, the “reform” will make employee dismissal rules more flexible by reducing severance costs and loosening the country’s legal procedures around dismissal. The second area where businesses will be allowed more freedom is the regulation of hours of work.


    Unions in the Philippines oppose martial law

    A coalition of human rights and labour organizations joined a protest rally on 21st September organized to denounce Thumbnaile Duterte government's human rights violations and demand an end to martial law in Mindanao. Over 12,000 people, mainly from poor urban communities, have been killed in extra-judicial killings sanctioned by President Duterte, with those involved granted impunity.


    The farce of loan waivers for farmers in Uttar Pradesh

    Almost immediately after the elections, the state government had announced the crop loan waiver scheme with much fanfare. Under the scheme, crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh were to be waived off for small and marginal farmers. The whole scheme has been reduced to a farce.

    Cabinet ministers are shown ceremoniously distributing loan waiver certificates to farmers across districts. However, it turns out that many of the beneficiary farmers have received waivers of amounts as petty as Re 1 or Rs 1.50!


    Job cuts and reduced recruitment result in growing unemployment

    Job sites have recently witnessed a 20-25% increase of applications from workers in IT and e-commerce companies. Business and trade papers further report that the Indian technology services sector is facing its worst growth period in close to a decade as the demand for their services has shifted from traditional outsourcing work to newer areas such as digital and cloud. In addition, automation through applications of robots are fast replacing human being in routine maintenance work of customer applications or IT infrastructure. This is in area where new recruits are usually employed.


    Program in the service of Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists: Privatisation is anti-social and anti-national

    The BJP-led government headed by Narendra Modi is stepping up the pace of the privatisation program. The target for sale of government shares in public companies has been raised from Rs.30,000 crores in 2015-16 to Rs.56,500 crores in 2016-17, and to Rs.72,500 crores in 2017-18. Many sectors which have so far been reserved for public ownership, including coal, defence production and railways, have been opened up to Indian and foreign private companies. Preparations are being made for outright sale of Air India and divestment of BSNL.


    Increasing number of derailments and loss of human lives

    On Saturday, August 19, 2017, 14 coaches of the Kalinga Utkal Express travelling between Hardwar and Puri went off the rails near Muzaffarnagar, UP, killing 23 people and seriously injuring hundreds. Within three days of this, the Kaifiyat Express travelling between Azamgarh, UP and Delhi collided with a dumper that was crossing the tracks, near Kanpur, leading to derailment and injuries to many. Over the last 5 years there have been 586 train accidents out of which 53% or the majority were due to derailments.


    Recurrent tragedies of infant and child deaths: Criminal neglect of the country’s health system

    The recent tragedy in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and the earlier many such tragedies which occur with predictable frequency, some reported, some highlighted, and mostly ignored and forgotten are the hallmark of present public health system in India. It has once again exposed the criminal callousness of the state authorities and those who rule.


    Teachers court arrest

    Several teachers from Central and State universities and colleges celebrated Teachers’ Day on 5th September, by courting arrest.

    Protesting under the banners of the All India Federation of University & College Teachers’ Organisations(AIFUCTO) and the Federation of Central University Teachers’ Associations (FEDCUTA), they were demonstrating against non-declaration of the Chauhan Pay Review Committee Report, that was submitted over six months ago.


    Rajasthan peasants escalate their struggle

    ThumbnailAs Mazdoor Ekta Lehar goes to the press, on 13 September 2017, angry peasants had once again taken to the roads to press for their demand of waiver of loans and other demands. The mahapadav organised by the All India Kisan Sabha and other peasant organisations on 12 September had forced the Rajasthan government to take notice of the more than 10-day long agitation and invite the leaders of agitating peasants for a meeting in the evening in Jaipur. An eleven member delegation took part in the talks. Talks went on till late in the night, however, it did not result in an agreement. Soon after that the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti met and announced chakka jam throughout Rajasthan.


    Assam enacts an anti-labour legislation

    The Assam government has enacted the Industrial Disputes (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2017, which authorises employers to retrench up to 300 employees without seeking approval of the government. As in Rajasthan, which was the first among states to pass anti-labour legislation, Assam has legislated this in the name of “labour reform”. The Assam assembly passed the bill by a voice vote on 7 Sept.


    GST – a recipe for further concentration of capital, centralisation of taxing power and extortion of the working class

    ThumbnailThe Goods & Service Tax (GST), implemented in July 2017, is a single all-India tax which replaces a number of different indirect taxes that were levied so far on the sale of goods and services. It replaces the excise duty, special excise duty, special customs duty, central sales tax (CST), service tax, various surcharges and cesses levied by the central government. It also replaces most of the indirect taxes levied by state governments including the value added tax (VAT), luxury tax, entertainment tax, entry tax and purchase tax.


    Condemnation of US interference and threats against Venezuela

    On August 11, 2017, US President Trump declared that the US had "many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary". This follows the imposing of sanctions on Venezuela by the US.

    The threat to use military force to overthrow the government of Venezuela and establish a pro-US regime in its place marks a new phase of escalation of brutal and systematic interference that it has carried on against the people of that country for many years. It is an open threat to the sovereignty of Venezuela and its people.


    Country-wide protests by peasants on 9th August

    ThumbnailThousands of peasants protested in over 150 districts across the country on 9th August at the call of the Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan a coalition of organisations working for land rights for the peasantry, agricultural workers, forest dwellers, dalits and adivasis. The Andolan had extended support to the yatra organized by by the All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) to carry the soil from the villages of the farmers killed in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh to various parts of the country, concluding in Delhi on 18th July.


    Jharkhand Land Acquisition Bill passed: Advancing the interests of the big monopoly capitalists

    ThumbnailJharkhand state government passed a new land acquisition law by voice vote, in the state Assembly on August 12, overriding objections of MLAs of opposition parties. The new law, known as the Jharkhand Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Act-2017, has amended certain provisions of the earlier land acquisition law, to facilitate land acquisition for the big monopoly capitalists to carry out their mining, power generation and other projects.


    Vivo India Pvt. Ltd. – A typical case of the “Make in India” initiative

    Vivo India Pvt. Ltd hit the headlines as a case of “labour unrest” following clashes in the factory premises at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh on July 25, 2017. As always, the monopoly capitalist controlled media distorted the events. The workers of Vivo were blamed for bringing a “bad name” for India and creating problems for the “Make in India” initiative of the ruling bourgeois class.


    Train drivers protest in multiple Indian Railway zones

    AILRSA dharna-thumbnailOn 14th Aug, 2017, train drivers raised their demands and held demonstrations at the crew lobbies and divisions of various zones under the leadership of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA). The decision to hold these demonstrations was taken in a meeting held by the central executive committee in Nagpur between 3-4 Aug, 2017. 48 representatives from the 16 zones of Indian Railways participated in the meeting. In the meeting, workers decided to hold massive dharnas to fight for their demands in the crew lobbies and various zones of the railways on 24th Aug.


    All India Convention of workers resolves to step up the struggle against the anti-worker, anti-people assault of the ruling class

    Talkatora convention of TUsAn all India Convention of Workers was held on 8 August 2017, at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi. The Convention was jointly organised by AITUC, CITU, INTUC, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC and LPF. More than 6000 delegates from different federations of workers and employees from the defence plants, steel plants, coal mines, railways, banks, insurance, and many other sectors of the economy participated in the Convention. A delegation of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee actively participated in the Convention.


    Banking should serve the needs of society, not the interests of corporate houses

    Image removed.Mazdor Ekta Lehar (MEL) spoke to Comrade JP Sharma, Vice President, All India Bank Employees Association and General Secretary, Delhi State Bank Employees Federation. Comrade JP Sharma (JPS) expressed his views on the current situation in the banking sector and the struggle being waged by the bank employees.


    Protests grow stronger in Narmada Valley

    Narmada river protest thumbnailIn June 2017, the Gujarat government closed the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on its side, by consent of the central government. At the same time, it was decided to raise the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam, on the Narmada River near Navagam by 17 metres to 138.72 metres. As a consequence, around 40,000 families in 192 villages of Madhya Pradesh are facing submergence.


    Farmers protests across Rajasthan

    Rajasthan farmers thumbnailUnder the banner of Karza Mukti Andolan Sangharsh Samiti, farmers from across Rajasthan took out demonstration on July 17 and started a Traffic Jam Campaign. 39 farmers’ associations of Rajasthan are involved in this Sangharsh Samiti. As a result of the protest, on 22nd July the government invited the representatives of all 39 organizations from the Sangharsh Samiti, to discuss the problems being faced by the farmers.


    Peasants escalate their struggle

    Farmers protest JM thumbnailAs the Parliament Monsoon Session began this year on 17 July 2017, thousants of peasants belonging to hundreds of organisations from all parts of India came to the Jantar Mantar near the Parliament House in New Delhi. The purpose of the rally was to draw Government's attention to the deep agricultural crisis which is leading to widespread economic ruin of peasants.


    October Revolution in Russia – 100 years: The July Days – Turning Point of the Revolution

    Lenin address congress of peasants sovietsThe July demonstrations and their immediate aftermath represented a turning point in the revolution in Russia. The dual power came to an end. The whole power passed into the hands of the Provisional Government, while the Soviets, with their Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik leaders, had become an appendage of the Provisional Government. The peaceful period of the revolution had ended.


    Mass demonstration and rally in New Delhi:

    United call for the empowerment of people

    Lok Raj Sangathan, together with Social Democratic Party of India, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, United Muslims Front, Communist Ghadar Party of India, CPI (M-L)-New Proletarian, Welfare Party of India, Popular Front of India, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations and others, organized an important initiative in building the united resistance of all sections of people to the growing attacks on our livelihood and rights, and in advancing the struggle for people’s empowerment.


    Workers protest attacks on their livelihood at Omax factories

    Omax workers demonstrationOmax, Automax and Speedomax are three plants which supply auto parts and provide services to companies like Maruti Suzuki and Honda. They are under one ownership and have 6 units in the Gurgaon area and 10 units across the entire country. For the past six months, the Automax management had been shifting machines to the Omax plant in Bawal. The Automax plant has several divisions.


    Protests against ONGC continue to rage in Neduvasal

    Residents of Neduvasal a village in Pudukottai district in southern Tamil Nadu have been protesting since mid-February against the ONGC awarding contracts for the execution of oil and gas extraction process. The pace of the protests against ONGC has not slowed down even a bit, with the protest hitting 100 days on 21st July. Meanwhile protests had also begun in Kathiramangalam near Kumbakonam, where it is on its 61st day.


    Resolute struggle of Aisin workers

    Aisin Automotive Haryana Ltd. is located in Rohtak. It has been the scene of resolute protests by the workers. On May 31, 2017, approximately 600 workers were lathi charged outside the gates of Aisin Automotive Haryana Private Limited. Subsequently, 390 men and 35 women were arrested and sent to jail. This brutality was the response of the management to the formation by the workers of the Aisin Automotive Haryana Mazdoor Union.


    Terrorist attack on the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims – who stands to gain?

    On July 10, a bus carrying pilgrims, returning after visiting the Amarnath shrine in Kashmir, was fired upon by alleged terrorists. Seven passengers, six of them women, were reported killed while 32 were grievously injured.

    People in Kashmir have united, across communities, religious beliefs and political affiliations, to condemn this dastardly crime. They have demanded that the perpetrators of this heinous crime be identified, arrested and punished.


    Massive protests against the G-20 Summit in Hamburg Germany

    Thumbnail of G20 protestAn estimated 120,000 people from across Germany and different parts of the Europe, gathered in militant protest actions at Hamburg, Germany, on the eve of the G-20 Summit which began on July 7. Various protest actions had begun in Hamburg nearly two weeks before the Summit. These protest actions demonstrated the resentment of the world’s peoples against imperialism, the capitalist system, the plunder and devastation of nations, militarization and war.


    Peasants hold meeting in Tamilnadu's Thoothukudi district

    In June 2017, Tamizhaga Vivasayeegal Sangam (Sangam) organized a meeting of peasants near Pasuvandanai in Thoothukudi district of Tamilnadu. Peasants belonging to the nearby villages took active part in this meeting. Besides Sangam leaders and activists, the leaders and activists of Communist Ghadar Party, Workers Unity Movement and Unorganized Workers Federation also took part in this meeting.


    Proposals of the Niti Aayog: Unveiling anti-social agenda of the capitalist monopoly houses

    A three-year Draft Agenda was presented at the 3rd Governing Council meeting of the Niti Aayog on 23rd April. This contains a host of proposed legislation and policy changes, whose stated objective is of “accelerating growth and increasing employment opportunities”.


    Government accelerates privatization program, workers step up their opposition to it

    thumbnail-BEML workersThe Union Government has announced its clear intention to accelerate on the privatization program. The aviation and defence sector public sector enterprises are high on the list of its privatization program. State governments are withdrawing from their responsibility to ensure safe, reliable and affordable public transport system, by privatizing road transport.


    Noteban has hurt large number of workers of small and medium enterprises

    Thumbnail GDP growthModi-led government has continued to justify demonetisation and refute even bourgeois economists’ assertion that it has hurt the economic growth. It has refused to accept that crores of workers lost their livelihood for months and lakhs of small and medium sized enterprises were forced to shut-down in the absence of cash post-demonetisation.


    EPFO proposes cuts in provident fund of workers: One more attack on the workers planned

    Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is considering a proposal to reduce provident fund contribution from 12 percent to 10 percent by both workers and employers. EPFO is claiming that the proposal is beneficial to workers as it will increase their take-home pay. It is hiding the real reason for the proposal which is to help the capitalists by reducing their contribution to workers’ provident fund.


    New policy satisfies capitalists' demand for big role in defence production

    A new Strategic Partnership (SP) Policy has been finalized to boost the Indian private sector's role in production of cutting-edge weapon systems, in collaboration with global armament majors through joint ventures.

    The SP policy will initially open up four major segments of fighter jets, helicopters, submarines and armoured vehicles (tanks and infantry combat vehicles) for private sectors players. The government claims that the SP policy will boost its “Make in India” efforts and create jobs.


    Countrywide strike by chemists

    Nearly 9 lakh chemists all over India observed a day long strike on May 30 in support of their demands. The strike had been called by the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD). Retail chemist shops remained closed in almost all parts of the country, in support of the strike. A demonstration was also held at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, on the day of the strike.


    Workers, peasants, women and youth unite in struggle for political empowerment in Rajasthan

    Thumbnail-HanumangarhIt is not usual to find organisers of teachers, farmers, government employees and of women and youth all participating actively in a joint political discussion. Such an event took place recently, at the initiative of the Rajasthan Council of Lok Raj Sangathan, a non-party political organization committed to the cause of bringing people to power.


    Growing joblessness in the country

    Thumbnail-JobsThe India Exclusion Report 2016, released by the New Delhi-based Centre for Equity Studies (CES) on 12th May 2017, citing Labour Ministry Data, says that says that employment creation in 2015 plummeted to 135,000 jobs compared to 930,000 in 2011. Even worse, existing jobs, especially in the IT sector, are being lost as thousands of workers were laid off in 2016, and the trend is set to continue this year.


    Struggle of construction workers in Haryana

    Thumbnail-Kurukshetra marchOn 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.


    Constitutional status to Backward Classes Commission

    On April 10, the Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (123rd) Amendment Bill to pave the way for the creation of a new National Commission for Backward Classes as a constitutional body. To be passed, a Constitutional Amendment Bill requires two thirds majority in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha voted in favour of the amendment with 360 MP’s supporting it and two opposing it.


    Good times (Achche din)

    Forbes magazine recently published its annual list of dollar billionaires in India, i.e., people with wealth of Rs. 6500 crores or more, in 2016. As per the Forbes list, the number of billionaires in India increased by 20 percent to 101 during the year. The country with the world’s largest number of poor now has the fourth largest number of billionaires. The wealth of these 101 biggest capitalists exceeds 300 billion dollars (around 20lakh crore rupees).


    Central government opposes Supreme Court verdict on AFSPA in Manipur

    On April 12, the Central government filed a curative petition with the Supreme Court, seeking recall of two orders given by the Court on July 8, 2016 relating to impunity enjoyed by the Armed Forces for killing innocent people under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The Supreme Court had ruled that AFSPA did not give impunity to the armed forces to carry out killings of innocent people. It had directed that all allegations of killings of innocent people in fake encounters in the state be probed.


    Youth used as "human shield" by army convoy in Kashmir: There is no military solution to the Kashmir problem!

    The video of a youth tied to the front of an army jeep driving through villages during the by-elections in the Srinagar parliamentary constituency on April 9 has provoked women and men of conscience throughout our country to raise their voice in protest. At one stroke, it has brought to the fore the utter brutality and inhuman treatment of the Kashmiri people by the Indian state.


    Babri Masjid demolition conspiracy case revived by Court

    On 19th April, the Supreme Court announced that the case of Criminal Conspiracy for the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6th December, 1992, against BJP leaders Lal Kishan Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati and 11 others, was to be revived. It transferred the trial from Rae Bareli to Lucknow, ordered daily hearings, and gave a time limit of two years for completion of the trial.


    Racist attacks in the National Capital Region on students from Africa

    NOIDA protestAccording to media reports, on 27th March, a gang of persons forced their way into a residence of Nigerian students in Greater Noida, in the National Capital Region of Delhi. They demanded the right to search the students' refrigerator. They alleged that the Nigerians were cannibals and accused them of murdering a local youth.


    Army deliberately targets civilians in Kashmir: There is no military solution to the problem in Kashmir

    Three youth were shot dead on 27th March, when Armed forces deliberately fired upon hundreds of people who had gathered at the site of an “encounter” near Darbugh village at Chadoora in Budgam district in central Kashmir.

    It may be recalled that earlier in February, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat issued a statement justifying such attacks on civilians. Rawat declared “mobs disrupting encounters” would be treated as “over ground workers of militants” and ruthlessly shot down. The then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar publicly justified this policy.


    Omax Autos, Dharuhera: Attack on workers fighting for their rights

    The entire union body of Omax Autos, Dharuhera has been fired as a punishment for fighting with the 344 contract workers who had been retrenched on 1st Feb 2016. 16 workers were sacked recently, taking the total number of permanent workers sacked to 34. Permanent workers of Omax Autos, had joined the protesting contract workers after one of the contract workers had committed suicide due to loss of livelihood.


    Unions to organise against Cognizant layoffs

    Three sectoral unions in the IT sector have announced a joint campaign against the proposed mass layoff of employees by Cognizant Technologies Solutions. NDLF (New Democratic Labour Front), FITE (Forum for IT Employees) and KPF (Knowledge Professionals Forum) have issued a common statement urging employees not to accept forced resignations while demanding that the company invest in re-skilling employees. Earlier in 2016, NDLF, through a court case, had won a favourable clarification by Tamil Nadu government, that declared that all industrial and labour laws applied to the IT Sector.


    Growing worldwide protests of the working class and people

    We are approaching May Day at a time when the number and scale of protests of the working class are on the rise all over the world. Workers are fighting back with growing determination and waging more powerful, more united struggles against the capitalist offensive. There have been massive protests against the “austerity” measures being imposed on the working people, the cutbacks in social service and privatization of health services.


    Rail workers to go on hunger strike

    The All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) and the All India Guards Council (AIGC) have decided to go on a 36 hour hunger strike on 25 and 26 April 2017. Through this hunger strike, they plan to highlight the grievances of the running staff of trains on a number of issues including the recommendations of the Seventh pay Commission on wages and allowances for different grades of the running staff.


    Conference of the Haryana Jan Sangharsh Manch: Tribute on the martyrdom day of Shaheed Chandrashekhar Azad

    Kurukshetra meetingOn 27 Feb 2017, the 6th regional conference of the Jan Sangharsh Manch was held in Kurukshetra to commemorate the 87th martyrdom day of Shaheed Chandrashekhar Azad. The regional president of the Manch, Phool Singh presided over the meeting. The advisor to the Manch, Dr.


    Life sentence awarded to Prof GN Saibaba: Criminalisation of dissent

    Professor G.N. Saibaba along with four other comrades was sentenced to life imprisonment by a session’s court in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra on 7th March 2017. Prof Saibaba, who is 90% disabled, was earlier arrested on May 9, 2014, when the police picked him up without any notice from his residence. He was lodged in Nagpur Central Jail for 14 months following his arrest. Subsequently, in March 2016, he was granted bail on grounds of his deteriorating health.


    Communal conflicts being stoked up in Assam

    On March 6, an organization named Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samannay Samitee (NIBBUSS), organised a day long rally and demonstration in Silpathar town in Assam, demanding that the names of Hindu Bengalis be removed from the list of D-voters (doubtful voters). It is reported that the demonstrators attacked and vandalized the office of the AASU (All Assam Students’ Union) and injured several AASU activists.


    Countrywide strike by Government Employees

    More than 12 lakh government employees went on strike throughout the country on 16th March 2017. The strike saw participation of workers from various government services including postal services, income tax services, RMSCGWB, postal account, civil account, survey of India, census services. The strike took place in support of the 20 point charter of demands released under the banner of Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers. The strike took place successfully throughout each part of the country.


    Protests against land acquisition in Jharkand continue

    The Jharkhand Adivasi Sangharsh Morcha continues to spearhead the protests of the tribal peoples against amendments to the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and the Santhal Pargana Act that define land use in the state. On March 5th, the Morcha organized a rally at Jantar Mantar to register the continued opposition of the people to the acquisition of tribal lands for industry.


    Debates on political questions banned in name of nationalism

    On February 2, 2017, the history department of the Jai Narayan Vyas University in Jodhpur organized a conference on ‘History Reconstructed through Literature: Nation, Identity, Culture’. The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), student wing of the ruling BJP, organized a shutdown of the university the following day declaring that a Professor who addressed the seminar had expressed "anti national views". The teacher who organized the conference has since been suspended by the Vice Chancellor of the University.


    Moves to accelerate the privatisation program

    The Modi government has announced plans to open up commercial mining of coal during next financial year (Apr 17-Mar 18).In the first phase, four coal mines will be auctioned. The plan is to auction as many as 23 mines during the year. Commercial mine owners will be able to sell coal to any user. For this purpose the Coal Mines Special Provision Act of 2015 was enacted which allows government to open up commercial coal mining for private players.


    Meetings on notebandi

    Lok Raj Sangathan organized a series of meetings on the anti-people step of banning 500 and 1000 rupee notes on 8 November 2016. The meetings were held to expose the real aims of the government. Between January and the first week of March 2017, meetings were held at Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar and Thane for workers, political activists, students and teachers.


    State terrorism in the name of fighting terrorism

    When 67 people were killed in three bomb blasts in Delhi on 28th October, 2005, three young Kashmiris were immediately arrested. Newspapers and TV channels claimed that the terrorists responsible for the killings had been caught. Now, 11 years later, a Delhi court has acquitted the three youth. They have been declared to be innocent after they had suffered unspeakable torture and imprisonment for over a decade in the prime of their lives (See Box 1). One of them had been declared to be the "mastermind", but the prosecution could not prove his involvement in the blasts.


    Peasants in Acute Distress

    The condition of peasants is growing from bad to worse in all parts of the country. Growing domination of capitalist monopolies, withdrawal of State support in the name of liberalisation, and the cash crunch created by the Note Ban have all added to the misery of the peasants. The following are some cases which have hit the news in recent weeks.


    Indian citizenship to depend on religion: Communal Nature of Indian State shows through its Secular Facade

    The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 is likely to be tabled in the Monsoon session of the Parliament this year. This Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to relax the eligibility requirements for Indian citizenship for migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.


    Titwala rail passengers' agitation

    Titwala in Maharashtra is famous for tourism. However, travellers have to face many difficulties due to several problems at Titwala railway station. Because of these problems, several travellers and residents have placed their demands to the railway adminstration. Railway adminstration has however ignored the problems and the demands. Rail travellers, together with residents have come together to establishe the Railway Passenger Janhit Sangharsh Manch.


    Schemes Workers demand an end to their super-exploitation

    Workers of various government schemes like Anganwadi, Asha, mid-day meals, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Ancilliary Nurse Midwife program (ANM), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), Sakshar Bharath and Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) are organising to escalate their struggle for being recognised as workers. Government deploys them in for implementing its schemes (therefore the name scheme workers). For example, Anganwadi workers are deployed in pulse polio, ration card and census schemes of Central and State governments.


    Massive destruction of jobs in major sectors

    Recent months have witnessed thousands of workers being thrown out of their jobs in a wide range of sectors, as a result of intense monopolistic competition leading to mergers among the biggest capitalist corporations.

    The telecom sector is witnessing an unprecedented wave of mergers and acquisitions, which is expected to lead to massive destruction of jobs.


    Attacks on worker’s rights in Maharashtra to promote “start-ups”

    The Central Ministry for Labour and Employment issued an Advisory in early 2016 on the subject of giving specific concessions to newly established companies, called “start-ups”, with respect to laws dealing with the labour rights. Since then, 10 States have agreed to take steps as per the Advisory. Government of Maharashtra is one of the states taking active steps to exempt start-ups from inspections relating to key labour laws, for a period of three years.


    Note Ban and Workers’ Woes

    Following the Note Ban announced on 8th November last year, many factory and shop owners all over the country paid one month’s wages in advance to get rid of their old rupee notes.

    On 21st December, Government of India issued an Ordinance to amend the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, to permit employers to pay wages by cheque or digital transfer without having to seek the workers’ consent.


    Workers’ unions oppose privatisation of insurance companies

    On 18th January, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, headed by Prime Minister Modi, gave “in principle” approval for listing of state-owned general insurance companies. Listing them in the stock exchange is the first step towards their privatisation. The companies concerned are: New India Assurance Company, United India Insurance, Oriental Insurance Company, National Insurance Company and the General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC).


    Political Forum in Delhi: Note Ban is not in the National Interest

    Participants in a Round Table Conference on the theme "Is Demonetisation in the National Interest?" were of the firm view that the Note Ban is thoroughly anti-worker, anti peasant, anti-social and anti-national.

    The conference was organised by the Delhi Council of Lok Raj Sangathan on 15th February, 2017. Ms Sucharita conducted the proceedings of the Conference.


    Meeting on Noteban in Sirsa

    On 12 February 2017, the Haryana Council of the Lok Raj Sangathan (LRS) held a meeting on the "Ill-effects of the Noteban (demonetisation)". There was a grand exhibition of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Ghadaris of 1857 outside the meeting hall. The meeting was attended by teachers, students, workers, farmers and traders.

    The meeting was presided over by the Vice President of the All India Council of LRS, Com. Hanuman Prasad Sharma, Com. Dhunichand and Purushottam Shastri. The meeting was conducted by Com. Kuldeep.


    Criminal callousness of Uranium PSU in Jharkhand

    Turamdih, about five km from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand is the site of a nuclear mine. One of five Uranium mines of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), it was commissioned in 2003. The UCIL is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), under the Department of Atomic Energy for uranium mining and processing. The centrally owned Corporation is responsible for the mining and milling of uranium ore in India. Uranium is the main fuel source for running the nuclear power plants that are installed in the country.


    A partial but significant victory for Pricol workers

    A partial but an extremely significant victory was won when the High Court set aside the Lower Court verdict of life sentence for 6 out of 8 activists of Kovai Maavatta Pricol Thozhilalargal Otrumai Sangam. Eight leading activists of the Kovai Maavatta Pricol Thozhilalargal Otrumai Sangam had earlier been sentenced to ‘double life imprisonment’ in a shocking verdict of the Coimbatore Sessions Court. Following the HC judgement, the 6 activists who have been acquitted, will be released soon. Appeal against the sentence for the remaining two will be made in Supreme Court.


    Karnataka Shipping Workers’ Struggle

    One of the big shipping dock companies in Karnataka’s Mangalore port Delta Infralogistics (Worldwide) Ltd illegally retrenched workers from 16 December 2016. The workers under the leadership of AICCTU have launched an agitation against this retrenchment. The workers are lying down in front of truck wheels in order to stop vehicles from transporting dock goods. Workers from other shipping companies have also declared solidarity with these workers and have refused to take part in any activity against the Delta Company workers.


    Massive Joint Demonstration of Engine Drivers and Guards

    The Joint Action Committee of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) and the All India Guards Council (AIGC) organised a massive dharna at the Parliament to press for their demands.

    Engine drivers and guards from different divisions of the Indian Railways took part in the dharna along with their families. Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Southern Railway Employees Union and the All India Station Masters Association supported and participated in the dharna.


    Mint workers of RBI have opposed their over exploitation

    Mint workers refused to work beyond 9 hours on 29th December, at the Salboni Mint at Kolkatta. On 14th November, they had to work 12 hours at a stretch so that new notes could be made available, in the context of demonetisation.

    According to the RBI Note Printing Private Employees Union, several employees fell sick. Since they had to work non-stop, the employees started falling sick and their families were adversely impacted.


    Struggle against forcible land acquisition in West Bengal

    Villagers in Bhangor in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal have been waging a determined struggle against forcible land acquisition, since the last week of December 2016. Villages of Khamarait, Machhi Bhanga , Tona and Gazipur in the area have witnessed mass meetings and protest actions by thousands of villagers. People from neighbouring villages have been coming in to show their solidarity.


    Privatisation of four public sector drug companies

    Oppose the sale and privatisation of public property!

    On 28 December 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Central government decided to sell off four public sector drug companies. Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd. (HAL), Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (IDPL), Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (RDPL) and Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (BCPL) are among the companies that are being privatised. The government is justifying the sale of these companies by pretending that the money that will flow into its coffers will be used for the welfare of the people.


    State employees in Rajasthan in struggle

    Call to intensify struggle after the State government reneges on assurances

    Vote for strike against privatisation and contract system

    The process of voting on the call for an all Rajasthan strike given by the All Rajasthan State Government Employees Joint Federation started on 16th January 2017. This was kicked off in Hanumangarh district. The voting will go on until 25 January. Subsequently, it will be decided how the Federation will respond to the oppressive policies of the government.


    Peasants gherao Block office for full distribution of promised water Printer-friendly version

    Thousands of peasants gheraoed (surrounded) the Nohar Block office in Hanumangadh district under the leadership of the Kisan-Mazdoor-Vyapari Sangarsh Samiti and Lok Raj Sangathan on 16th January. The peasants were protesting the non fulfilment of their demand for the promised supply of water from the Sidhmukh feeder, Nohar feeder and Amarsingh branch; they were also demanding that the stealthy diversion of water from the canals be stopped. Communist Ghadar Party extends its wholehearted support for the just demand of the peasants.


    This is nothing but state terrorism!

    Numerous individuals accused of being terrorists are languishing in jails in various parts of the country. Many among them are released several years later when the courts rule that they are innocent. The “1st People’s Tribunal” was set up on 2nd October 2016 to allow such individuals to present a description of their condition. A report based on the victims’ narrative submitted by the jury was released in New Delhi on 10th December 2016. This report has been published by “The Innocents Network India”.


    Guest Teachers’ Struggle

    Government is making false promises since past 3 years

    On 21 December the guest teachers who had gathered at Chatrasaal stadium to press for their demands were attacked with water cannon and police was used to break their strike demonstration. The occasion was the dialogue initiated by the Delhi state government, which had issues a circular calling 11,000 guest teachers.


    Give us our share of water

    Representatives of peasants of Nohar division of Hanumangadh district of Rajasthan presented a petition in the name of Kisan Sangarsh Samiti to the Special District Magistrate. In the petition, the peasants have demanded that they be given the full quantity of water available in the Amar Singh Branch, Nohar Feeder and Sidhmuk Branch, so that they can save their wheat crop.


    Victory for the united struggle of Nohar residents

    On 19th December 2016, the residents of Munshari, located on the Ganganagar mega highway between Nohar and Bhadara, surrounded the toll plaza established by a private company by the name of Ridcor. The residents were upset about the toll charged by the toll plaza for people residing in the neighbouring villages. To demonstrate their opposition, they blocked the mega highway near the toll plaza using their vehicles.


    Massive protest demonstration in Mumbai against demonetisation!

    On 28 November a massive protest demonstration was organised at Church Gate Station in Mumbai against the demonetisation announced by the Modi government. Over 400 activists of various communist parties participated in the protest demonstration including the CPI, CPM, CGPI, SUCI (Communist), Republican Party of India, Samata Vidhyarthi Aghadi, Lal Nishan Party, and Peasants Workers Party, and others. The activists protested against the great difficulty caused to people are large, and raised slogans with banner and placards.


    Views on Demonetisation

    MEL is carrying out a series of interviews with leaders of the working class to get their view on demonetisation and its consequences for the people.

    Com. Suryakant Shinge, leader of Ladaku Garment Mazdoor Sangh and activist Com. Vilas Kamble

    MEL: What is the effect of Modi’s demonetisation on the lives of people in villages and towns?