On 5th February 2013, the DTC Bachao Sanyukt Morcha (Save DTC Joint Front) organised an open convention at the Indraprastha Depot of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), to call upon the workers to make the two day All India Strike a resounding success.This convention was attended by hundreds of union activists from various DTC depots.
DTC Bachao Sanyukt Morcha consists of the Delhi Transport Workers Sangh, DTC Employees Congress, DTC Workers Unity Centre and DTC Workers Union. The convention was presided over by Amarjeet Kaur (AITUC), Santosh Rai (AICTU), Birju Nayak (Mazdoor Ekta Committee), Rishipal Singh (INTUC) and Jagdeesh Dalal (BMS).
Addressing the Convention, the leader of the DTC workers said that the most important task today was to make the strike a success by uniting as working class. The DTC employees, no matter what position they hold, have a leading role in keeping Delhi moving. DTC employees can significantly contribute to make the strike in Delhi a success.
He said that the biggest problem faced by working people in safely and comfortably getting from one place to another is the contract system being used in DTC. Under the privatisation drive, the work of the conductors, drivers and maintenance workers is done under contract. People working on contract are paid much less than what they need, and what a regular employee of that qualification and skill would earn. The level of exploitation is so high that the contracting companies are earning greater profits day by day.
He said that the government is selling the assets built from people’s money to Indian and foreign capitalists, while claiming that it to be in public interest. DTC is also a victim of the same. That is the reason why safe transport is becoming more difficult and expensive. The DTC is now run with the aim of earning profit, which means that it is only interested in looting the public and employees alike.
He said that the government propaganda is that the labour laws, which are merely on paper, are a roadblock to the capitalists attaining world-class status. Government wants the working people to consider their interest served when the interest of the capitalists is served.
He said that working class cannot find its future in the program of the capitalists. No matter which banner or political party one may belong to, it was necessary for workers to not only unite to defeat the anti-worker policies of the capitalist government, but also to put forward the program of the working class, distinct from the program of the capitalists. We must make the strike on 20-21 February a success, he reiterated.
The convention was also addressed by Gurudas Das Gupta (MP and General Secretary, AITUC), Birju Nayak, Swapan Mukherjee (General Secretary, AICTU), Pawan Kumar (Secretary, BMS) and Rishi Pal Singh.
The demands of the DTC workers are as follows:
- Implement the rule that all contract workers be paid the same salary and offered the same facilities for doing similar work and they be made regular!
- Have 25,000 buses in the DTC fleet in order to provide safe and dependable transport service to the people!
- Start the transport allowance (TA) without any preconditions!
- Implement DTC pension on all employees!
- Implement cash-less medical scheme for serving and retired employees!
- Stop the exploitation and oppression of employees!
- Immediately annul the annual maintenance contract (AMC)
- Give the same promotion to all employees!