On the afternoon of May Day, hundreds of workers gathered at Azad Maidan, carrying red flags and the banners of their Unions. There were engineering workers, teachers, bank and insurance workers, seamen, state Govt employees, unorganised sector workers etc.
The meeting started at 5 pm with a welcome by Comrade AD Golandaz, Convenor of the TUJAC(Trades Union Joint Action Committee). He said in the last three years there have been three Bharat bandhs. This showed the opposition of the working class to the anti people policies of the ruling Congress Coalition. Speaker after speaker denounced these and called on the workers to unite. Many speakers also spoke of the sharpening global economic crisis, and the protests by workers in Europe and America against their government’s efforts to try to shift the burden of the crises on the backs of the working people.
Comrade Vivek Monteiro, of CITU declared that so far we have only been opposing, but now is the time for the working class to put forward an alternate to these anti worker policies.
Com Mathew of Kamgar Ekta Committee welcomed this call from Dr. Monteiro and asked for a Joint Consultative Conference of all working class activists who would deliberate on the elements of this alternate policy to challenge the rule of the bourgeoisie. He said the cornerstone of the new policies put forward by the working class must be that the products of the land and labour of India should be used for the welfare of the working people. He said it is not possible for both rich and poor to grow together. If the needs of the working class are to be met, then surely the profits of the capitalist class will have to be severely curtailed. This is a fundamental law.
Comrade Tapti Mukhopadhaya, leader of the agitating teachers of Maharashtra denounced the Govt for its anti teacher attitude. She thanked Kamgar Ekta Committee for bringing out a joint leaflet signed by so many Unions and distributing this at Churchgate Station in support of teachers. It was this kind of class solidarity that we need to build she said.
The meeting ended well after 7 pm, with the serious working class activists pondering over the challenges facing the class and the need for them to rise to the occasion to shoulder these.