Demonstration in Delhi
Hundreds of workers demonstrated on 10th March under the joint leadership of Delhi’s trade unions, demanding the implementation of their 12-point demands. They marched from Shahid Park near Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla Maidan to ITO. This protest was part of the country-wide protests called by the Joint Committee of Trade Unions. Workers organisations united in response to this call and held demonstrations against the government and in support of their demands across various state capitals.
AITUC, CITU, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, AICCTU, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, INTUC, LPF and Sewa participated in Delhi. Workers from across several sectors of industry and services participated with enthusiasm in the demonstration. They held up placards and banners which expressed their demands.
Addressing the demonstrators, the leaders of the trade unions unequivocally condemned the government for the intolerable inflation, increasing unemployment, anti-worker amendments to the labour laws, blatant violation of labour laws, insecurity of livelihood and all sided attacks on the workers.
Speakers pointed out that workers are being jailed for unitedly raising their voices against the intolerable conditions they face. They cited the examples of Maruti-Suzuki in Manesar, Pricol in Coimbatore, and most recently, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India in Alwar, where workers have been thrown into jail. This is the same with peasants and tribals whose lands have been grabbed by the capitalists to make profits.
Speakers voiced their full support to the 11th April strike of the central government employees, and informed the workers that a convention of trade unions would be organized in Malvankar Hall in Delhi on 30th March in order to maintain pressure on the government for fulfilment of the 12-point demands. This convention will decide on the future strategy.
Comrades Amarjit Kaur, Rajni Sandhu, Prakash Rao, Santosh Rai, Harbhajan Singh Siddu, R.K.Sharma, Shatrujeet Singh, Mohit Awana, Jawahar Singh Dharmendra Kumar and Latha addressed the demonstration.
The following demands were raised:
- Put an end to inflation and reduce the prices of essential goods
- Set the minimum wages at Rs.20,000 per month
- Anti-worker amendment to labour laws will not be tolerated, and stop violation of labour laws
- Stop contract labour and make workers peramanent
- Equal pay for equal work, ensure payment of pensions
- Provide social security for unorganised workers
- Ensure registration of unions within 45 days
- Halt privatization of social services. Halt investment of FDI in Railways, Financial sector and Retail trade.
- Make scheme workers permanent
- Make an immediate plan for construction workers
- Recognise domestic workers as Worker
- Immediately fulfill the demands raised in 11th April movement