Construction workers' angry protest
Hundreds of construction workers protested against the government at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on November 28 under the banner of the Nirman Mazdoor Sangathan and the Maharashtra Mahasangh Working People's Charter. As a result of the long struggle of construction workers, in 1996, 21 years ago, the government had passed some laws in the Parliament relating to construction workers.
At that time, the government praised itself sky-high for passing these laws. However, the reality is that, even after 21 years, these laws, which have provisions for pension, health insurance, accident insurance, scholarships for children, loans for housing, etc., proved to be laws on paper only. In fact, nothing has been actually provided to the workers. Construction workers are therefore forced to take up the struggle once more. Along with the earlier demands, they are now raising another important demand that their registration should be done in the presence of their organizations.
It is ironic that workers who build houses for the whole world have to live in extremely inhuman conditions themselves. The anger of construction workers is entirely justified. The government answer for its inaction in implementing the law.
Homeless demand Government-built homes
Just like lakhs of tribals and peasants are facing hardships due to various projects, lakhs of working class families in major cities across the country are facing great hardships due to various urban projects. Under the banner of “Project Badith Beghar” (project affected homeless) and Veer Jijamata Residents Organization, 250 families gathered in Azad Maidan to demand justice. They have come together to demand justice for the 4660 families residing in the transit camps located at Wadala Mankhurd since 2005. Despite a High Court order, even basic facilities have not been provided to the families living in the transit camps.
These families are demanding that 4660 homes be provided to them from the 19844 vacant lying vacant with the MMRD since 2005. It is condemnable that the government is not meeting such a simple and straightforward demand of the working families!
Anti worker reforms not acceptable
The Maharashtra government is planning to make changes in the laws pertaining to worker that are against the interest of the workers and in the interest of the capitalists. Various workers organizations have been consistently opposing this move of the government since 2015. Such a protest was carried out by more than 200 workers in front of the Labour Commissioner's office in Bandra. Comrade Shekhar Kapure, from Kamgar Ekta Chalwal, and the leader of the bank organization, Comrade Biswas Utagi, were also a part of the protest. The workers who participated in the demonstration condemned the government for being a puppet of the big capitalists like Tata, Birla, Ambani, Adani, etc.
Hawkers protest in Azad Maidan
Thousands of hawkers gathered at Azad Maidan on November 29 shouting slogans like “We want rights, not alms! We want jobs with dignity!. In in all big cities including in Mumbai, hawkers provide an essential service of providing basic necessities at affordable prices right at the doorsteps of lakhs of working people. However, the police and goondas attack them alleging that hawkers are responsible for causing civic problems. The government also makes their livelihood difficult by imposing all sorts of restrictions on hawking. The hawkers had come together under the banner of Feriwala Ekjut Sangarsh Samiti to protest against these injustices and to demand their basic rights.
Peasants' angry protest
Hundreds of farmers gathered at Azad Maidan on November 28, under the leadership of Shramik Mukti Dal. Farmers were raising demands like "Waiver of farm loans!", "Assistance in procurement of seeds!", "Jobs for the project affected farmers and rural population or grant of minimum 5 lakh rupees!", "Living allowance for the project affected farmers who have been granted barren land in place of their land!", etc.