Leaders and activists of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee have been vigorously participating in the struggle of the workers of the Airports Authority of India against privatization of the airports of Chennai, Kolkota and four other cities.
At Chennai airport, Comrade Baskar addressed the gathering of workers.
In his speech, he pointed out that the workers of the Airports Authority of India were carrying out one of the most critical tasks in the aviation industry, by running 123 big and small airports all across the country. All its assets and services, belong to the people of our country. The capitalists want to usurp the enormous wealth created by workers over decades. Mazdoor Ekta Committee is of the opinion that workers who have created this wealth of assets and services are also fully capable of further modernizing, operating and managing it in the service of our people. There is no need for profit thirsty capitalists to step-in in the name of modernization. The Central government has fixed up a target to sell Rs.40,000 crores of assets of public sector, to private parties in this year. Active opposition by workers such as Neyveli Lignite Corporation and AAI has stalled this anti-national move from advancing.
The fact that the people travelling through already privatized airports are being looted enormous amounts in the name of various fees, confirms the anti-social and anti-national character of this move. Your struggle is not only to defend the workers interests, it is also a heroic struggle in defense of the national assets and interest of the Indian people. Entire Indian working class is with you in your just struggle, he said.
He cautioned workers not to trust the promises of the government as similar promises to protect workers interest and livelihood were given when Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad airports were privatized. But the reality was different. Similarly workers should remember that the government agreed in 2009 that it would not privatize any more airports.
Comrade Baskar pointed out that in the present political system and process, decisions such as on privatization of national assets can be carried out behind the back of parliament as well as the people. All the important decisions are made by the big bourgeoisie and get implemented by the parties in power working for their interests. He then asked, is it not necessary that we change the political process to ensure the decision making powers come into our hands who produce the wealth of this country.
Com Baskar pointed out that the MEC has always consistently opposed privatization as a matter of principle. We have firmly opposed and fought the privatization of Modern Food Industries and various other industries and services. We have always supported the struggle against privatization by workers and organizations. Just like the workers of Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) stalled its privatization by their militant and united struggle, the AAI workers will also be successful in the struggle against privatization.