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. Representatives of AITUC, CITU, HMS, INTUC, NTUI, Kamgar Ekta Committee, as well as of Railway workers, BEST workers, Dock workers, Maharashtra State Transport workers and Municipal Workers participated in the Convention.
Amongst those who addressed the Convention were Comrade MA Shaikh of CITU, Comrade Chajjar of INTUC, Comrade MA Patil from NTUI, Comrade Bajpayee of Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS), Comrade Matthew of Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) and representatives of BEST, State Transport, Electricity workers and Dock workers. All the participating unions and workers organisations expressed their commitment to participate in the strike and large scale mobilisation is going on. Representatives of many unions reported that they were holding conventions at the state and district level to mobilise the workers right up from the gram panchayat level to participate in the strike. The speakers condemned the new Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government for ignoring the demands of the working class in its Common Minimum Programme.
Comrade Bajpayee of the CRMS said that the contractualisation of work in the Railways was going on at full speed. He also pointed out that already 50 per cent of the railways has been privatised and the government was pushing towards further privatisation. He said that rail workers are militantly opposing this anti-national and anti-worker drive of the government.
Dealing with the struggle against privatisation in general and of the privatisation of the railways in particular, Com Mathew explained how privatisation is not only anti-worker, it is anti-social and anti-national. He drew from the experience of the struggle of workers of our country, and internationally against privatisation to emphasise both the necessity and possibility of halting privatisation. He explained how in Mumbai, KEC is actively engaged in educating the rail passengers about the harmful effects of privatisation. He called on all unions in the railways to unite in their struggle against the move to close down workshops in order to hand them over to the big capitalists. He said that KEC is carrying out widespread propaganda among the working people of Maharashtra and the whole country to ensure the success of the January 8th Strike.
The Convention concluded with a call to all the participating unions to work to make the January 8th All India General Strike a resounding success.