Lakhs of workers from all sectors of the economy participated in an All India protest on November 8, marked by rallies and jail bharos. The protests took place in all the state capitals as well as other towns. A feature of the protest was the active participation of workers from railways, banks, insurance, defence, communications, as well as workers from large scale industries in the private sector.
The demands of the workers include:
- Concrete plan to curb price rise
- Concrete plan to ensure job security and create new jobs
- Strict implementation of labour laws brooking no exceptions and strict punishment to the guilty for their violations
- Universal social security for all workers who are presently categorized as unorganized sector and who are denied social security, and the creation of a national social security fund with adequate funds for the same.
- Universal public distribution system
- Complete halt to disinvestment of Public Sector Undertakings.
The workers have also demanded immediate measures such as
- End to use of contract labour for work of a permanent nature, and ensuring that until then, the contract workers get the same wages and benefits as the regular workers
- The minimum wages act should be amended to include all workers and the wages should be linked with the price index. The minimum wages must be determined as per recommendations of the Standing Committee of Labour.
- Pension for all workers
- Registration of Trade Unions must be done within 45 days of application
In Delhi, thousands of workers participated in the march to parliament. The rally was addressed by leaders of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee, INTUC, BMS, HMS, AITUC, CITU, AIUTUC, AICCTU, UTUC and the TUCC. The public meeting was chaired by Comrade SN Sharma, veteran leader of the AITUC from Delhi and leader of the joint committee of trade unions in the capital. Those who addressed the rally included Comrade Santosh Kumar of MEC, Abani Roy, SP Tiwari, Tapan Sen, Krishna Chakraborty, Sanjeeva Reddy, Gurudas Dasgupta, Santosh Roy and RK Mittal.
Activists of the Communist Ghadar Party of India distributed tens of thousands of leaflets entitled "The working class must fight for the reorientation of the economy" produced by the Regional Committees of the Party in Mumbai, Delhi, and other cities and towns both in the days preceding the rallies as well as on November 8, 2011. (We are reprinting the leaflet issued by the Maharashtra Regional Committee issued for the occasion in this issue of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar).