Wednesday, May 1, 2013


1st May 2013


To pay homage to the martyrs of 1st May who laid down their lives for the cause of working class for 8 hours duty and also to highlight the problems being faced by the workers in India today. Various Trade Unions affiliated to AITUC held a rally at the Bus stand today. Those who participated in the rally include Punjab Road Motor Transport Workers Union (AITUC), Safai Labour Union Municipal Corporation, PSEB Employees Federation AITUC, PSSF, Govt. Class 1V Employees Union, Bank Employees Federation, PAU Employees Union, PRTC Employees Union, Mistri Mazdoor Union (AITUC), Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes employees federation.

Addressing the rally various speakers said that the working class in India had played glorious role in freedom struggle and thereafter in building modern India. They waged relentless struggles to get the rights due to them which had been denied since ages; these include 8 hours duty, job security, right to form unions, minimum wages, Provident Fund, Medical facilities, retirement benefits and for regular revision of wages as per the price index. They also struggled along with other sections of the society for building public sector which includes nationalization of banking, insurance, transport, power sector, mines, railways, telecommunication, education and research etc. which ultimately benefitted the poor and middle classes of the society. But for the last few years after the structural adjustment programmes under the diktats of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and introduction of Neo liberal Economic Policies which benefitted multinational corporations and super rich, all these gains are being reversed causing misery of the toiling masses in the country. This is visible from changes in labour laws in the name of labour reforms which are in fact anti labour. The laws meant to protect the interests of workers are being violated and flouted even in the public sector units and government is paying no heed to this. Public sector is being eroded and sold out. Whatever is left is also being run as a private industry with outsourcing and employment as casual and contract labour with low wages and no service benefits and perks or regular increase in emoluments. The martyrs of May day in 1886 laid down their lives for 8 hours duty, but today employees and workers have to do 12 hours duty even in sectors like Banking, Multinational corporations are eating away the small scale industries. The government instead of giving respite to the small scale sector is withdrawing facilities already available to them. The workers are being denied right to form unions in the name of increasing exports in Special economic zones (SEZ). The public distribution has been eroded which has resulted in denial of basic minimum food to the poor and workers thus increasing malnutrition among them. This is despite the fact that the food grains are rotting in the godowns. Speakers called upon the workers to unite in strength to protect their rights as was done by the martyrs of May day. The speakers demanded that all vacant posts in government, public sector, and in the private sector should be filled on regular basis. Contract and outsourcing system be abolished. Old pension scheme, which was in vogue till 31.12.2003, be re introduced for the employees who have been recruited after 1.1.2004 instead of new contributory pension scheme. Labour laws should be protected by the govt. and the labour department should come forward for this.

Those who addressed the rally include Com O P Mehta-Vice President AITUC Punjab, D P Maur, General Secretary Joint council of Trade Unions Ludhiana, Com Kartar Singh Bowani-Secretary CPI Distt. Ludhiana, Com Ramesh Rattan City Secretary CPI, Dr Arun Mitra, Com Pardeep Singh & Manjit Singh Gill of Roadways, Com Kewal Singh Banwait of PSEB, Com Vijay Kumar Municipal Corporation, Com Gurnam Singh Sidhu, Com Paramjit Singh Gill and Dr Gulzar Pandher from PAU, leaders of Mistri Mazdoor Union Com Kameshwar, Com Ram Singh, Com Ram Chander, Com Naresh Gaur- Secretary Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Com B M Fredrick, Com Charan Sarabha, Com Manjit Singh Buta.


A rally was also held at Bahadarke Road by the hosiery workers union Ludhiana, which was addressed by Com D P Maur, Com Ramesh Rattan, Dr Arun Mitra, Com Feroz Master, Com O P Mehta, Com Manjit Singh Buta, Com Nagina Ram, Com Om Prakash Sharma. Thousands of workers gathered here demanded implementation of labour laws, registration of unions. Medical facility under the ESI to all the workers, Provident Fund and Pension scheme benefit. They further demanded revision of wages and piece rates as per the price index regularly. Com Feroze informed the gathering that soon they will open an office of the union for the redressal of grievances of workers. Others who addressed and organized the function

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