Successful All-India Strike on September 29

The September 29 All-India strike by the working class called by the left trade unions including the CPI(ML)-led AICCTU to demand a reversal of the UPA government's pro-privatisation and anti-labour policies. This became a historic success due to widespread support it received from the people of India . This was the first action on such a massive scale against the anti-people policies of the UPA govt. at the Centre. These policies are nothing but a continuation of the previous NDA regime's policies and the success of the strike is also a continuation of people's resentment expressed against the NDA in the last general elections. This strike also exposed fallacy of the Congress' slogan of 'reform with a human face' and sent a strong message that the working class in the country will never tolerate the tilt in the policies of the Congress towards Ambanis and America .

The strike was total in all important states, as well as all industrial establishments and financial institutions. Jharkhand , Assam , West Bengal , Maharashtra , Kerala, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and many other states observed a total bandh. The strike also received huge response from Central and State govt. employees and employees of public sector undertakings in coal, petroleum, banking, insurance, airports, P&T, BSNL and health sectors. There was a good participation from various unorganised sectors like agricultural workers, tea garden workers, construction workers, powerloom and handloom workers. It was also a huge success in Gurgaon, which recently witnessed barbaric police repression on Honda factory workers.

Let September 29 make it clear to the Indian rulers and their imperialist bosses that India cannot be steamrolled into neo-colonial subjugation. The writing on the wall should be clear and bold enough for the UPA government which is following in the footsteps of the ousted NDA regime.

– Rajiv Dimri
AICCTU's Role in the Strike – Some Details

Assam : AICCTU unions played the leading role in closure of tea gardens and oil sector enterprises in Bardoloi and Margereta. Several AICCTU comrades were arrested at several places including 100 in Guwahati. Leaders and activists of AICCTU including AICCTU State President Biren Kalita, Assistant Secretary Pankaj Das, City Secretary Janik Barman, hundreds of Tea workers and AISA State Secretary Balindra Saikia were arrested at different places including Guwahati, Nagaon, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Tinsukia. Assam State Power Workers Union took active part in the general strike and leaders and activists including Working President Ajoy Rajkonwar and Vice-President Gojen Das were arrested. In support of General Strike 'Asom Sangrami Chah Shramik Sangh' (ASCSS) affiliated to AICCTU called a Garden Bandh and many tea gardens in the state remained closed. At some places, joint programmes with other left unions took place. Assam witnessed a bandh-like situation with all the major sectors including govt. employees and transport workers going on strike.

Bihar : The strike call was a success as banks, insurance, income tax and other offices remained closed. Bihar Non-Gazetted Employees Association (Gope wing) took out a torch-light procession on the eve of the strike. AICCTU also held processions in Patna , Nalanda, Gaya , Bhagalpur , Hazipur, etc. and AICCTU affiliated unions participated in the strike with full vigour. Bidi workers in Nalanda and construction workers in Biharsharif took part in the strike.

Delhi : In Delhi , AICCTU organized rallies in a decentralized manner in the different industrial areas of Delhi . AICCTU also organised successful dharnas at DTC headquarters and Indraprastha Estate. Hundreds of workers under the banner of AICCTU and CPI(ML) gathered at the Patparganj Industrial Area early in the morning, picketing and demonstrating against the anti-people policies of the UPA government. The demonstration was led by the All India Progressive Women's Association General Secretary, Ms. Kumudini Pati, AIGKU General Secretary, Mr. V.K.S. Gautam and CPI(ML) East Delhi , District Secretary, Amar Nath Tewari. In the Jhilmil Industrial Area, hundreds of AICCTU activists blocked the streets for hours. The rally was led by AICCTU area secretary Mr. Ram Abhilash. In the Narela Industrial Area, hundreds of workers under the leadership of Mr. Surendra Panchal, AICCTU State Committee member gathered near the Narela Police Station and marched towards the industrial area. The militant picketing and demonstration continued for hours. In the Okhla Industrial Area, workers from the various industries joined the rally led by AICCTU, AIGKU, DTC Workers' Unity Centre and IPSS Mazdoor Union. The procession started from Kalkaji DTC Depot and proceeded to the Okhla Industrial Area. The Rally was led by Mr. N.M.Thomas (State President AICCTU), Mr. Santosh Roy (State Secretary, AICCTU), Mr. Roopnarayan (Vice-President, AIGKU), Mr. Premchand (Area Secretary, CPIML) and others. At DTC headquarters hundreds of DTC workers under the banner of DTC Workers' Unity Centre held a protest dharna.

Jharkhand: Led by the AICCTU General Secretary Com. Swapan Mukherjee, the union affiliated to AICCTU in the coal sector organised complete strike in BCCL and ECL subsidiaries. Rail roko at Kumardhubi station for 3 hours and G.T. Road blockade for 6 hours were organised. Demonstrators including Com. Swapan were arrested. Effigies of Manmohan and Bush were burnt. Hazaribagh and Ranchi observed bandh with the participation of state govt. employees.

Maharashtra : Our comrades from Lal Nishan Party(L), under the banner of Maharashtra Rajya Sarvashramik Mahasangha, went all out to organise strike in their strongholds like Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad and Kolhapur , involving sectors like corporation employees, transport, factories, mills, agricultural workers etc. The strike was very successful in general.

Pondicherry : Successful strike was organized in industries of our work like Hindustan lever, Indian Oil Bottling Plant and LPG delivery unit. Rail roko and road blockade were organised and 150 comrades were arrested. There was a complete bandh in Pondicherry .

Punjab : In Punjab , rail track was blocked in Mansa by agrarian workers and peasants in support of the strike. This was led by CPI(ML) State Secretary Rajwinder Rana and BKU(Ekta) leader Ruldu Singh. Later, other left organisations came to join the blockade.

Tamil Nadu: Workers under AICCTU leadership went around for imposing the strike and in process were arrested in hundreds at several places like Kumarapallayam, Pallipallayam, Salem , Chennai, Trinulvelli, Kanchipuram.etc. The powerloom, construction and industrial workers came out in large numbers.

Rajasthan: In Jaipur, a joint rally of around 1000 workers was held.

Uttranchal: In Haldwani, the employees of bank and insurance companies were on strike and took out a march which was addressed by CPI(ML) Coms. Raja Bahuguna and Bahadur Singh Jangi.

Uttar Pradesh: A rally of around 700 workers was organized in Lucknow by AICCTU and it was addressed by Coms. Chandrabhan, Ajanta Lohit, Tahira Hassan and Shobha Singh. In Kanpur , the strike was organised in industrial areas like Dada Nagar, Panki and Jajmau. A rally was held too. Rallies were held in Allahabad and Varanasi and Anpara (Robertsganj). A sit-in was held in Sonebhadra industrial area. In Obra and Anpara, AICCTU and CPI(ML) held a dharna to highlight the electricity privatisation in UP. A dharna in Sonebhadra industrial area was also organised besides block level demonstrations in the district. In Pilibhit, around 500 CPI(ML) activists joined the rally of bank and insurance employees and medical representatives and organised a chakka-jam. Nearly thirty activists were arrested. A road blockade was organised in Gazipur and marches were held at Chandauli, Mirzapur and Unnao.

West Bengal : A general bandh was held. Our comrades did picketing at several places in 24 Parganas, Siliguri, Hooghly , Kolkata etc.