It is heartening to note from the action of 12th November, 2014 which was led by the United Forum of Bank Unions, in support of wage revision that there is a united and concerted effort to defend the rights of workers, cutting across lines of individual unions. While one of the weakness of the working class movement in the country is indeed associated with the fact that there is a fragmentation of union activity, it is heartening to note that when push comes to shove there can be a concerted action.
The rise of working class consciousness would be associated with such phenomena and must be applauded by all those who claim to be in the revolutionary camp. Secondly, it is worthy of note that it is not just workers of the nationalised banks, but also those from private banks have also participated in the strike. It is also significant that the talks that the unions have held have not borne fruit either with the representatives of the Indian Banks Association and the government either under the UPA or under the BJP government. This clearly illustrates the stubborn fact that irrespective of which government is in power, “acche din” are guaranteed only for the bourgeoisie, and there is no such luck for the working class.
It is also a good time to reflect on the fact that the right to strike has been earned by the working class through generations of struggle. It is not a bonus that has been granted to the working class by the bourgeoisie. It is only in the crucible of working class struggles that this right, as well as many other rights have taken birth.
In the present era of retrogression and reaction, there is a systematic roll back of all these rights, due to the insatiable thirst for profits of the bourgeoisie. Once this is kept in mind, the path forward will be clear to the working class. Whether it is bank workers or railway workers or airline workers or factory workers, the base reality is the same. One must realize that this is the birthplace of the consciousness for the present and the future.
By reporting on such events, MEL and the CGPI are keeping the red flag of the working class flying high and deserve the highest commendation.
N. Prasad, Coimbatore