AICCTU in Support of Striking Hind-Motor Workers

The ongoing Strike of the workers of the Hind Motor Factory is a sign of the state of workers' rights   in the automobile industry in W. Bengal. AICCTU organized a militant civil disobedience programme on 20 April in support of the striking Hindustan Motors Workers demanding immediate withdrawal of charge-sheet, suspention on the striking workers, disbursement of DA since September 2001, promoting 243 casual workers to permanent status. The demand to lift the totally illegal suspension of work declared at Ganges Jute Mills, Banshberia in Hooghly district was also raised. A procession started from Subodh Mallick Square, Kolkata, and the rallyist courted arrest in front of the Metro Cinema, Esplanade. Earlier, on 12 April, AICCTU organized a demonstration in front of the Birla Building, the Head office of Hindustan Motors and handed over a deputation to the management.
The strike of Hind Motor workers has continued since 13 March. Failing to break the strike, and the fighting morale of the striking workers, CITU connived with the management and the later declared suspension of work on 11 April, the day after (i.e. on 10/4) Hind Motor workers witnessed a massive police-cadre crackdown.
The management has declared that unless the strike is called off, they would not start negotiating with the Trade Unions. Rather, the management has sent show cause letters to around 40 workers owing allegiance to the Sangrami Yukta Manch (a broad based platform of the striking workers barring CITU) asking why they should not be terminated for their ‘gross illegal act’. Meanwhile, the Kolkata High Court has show caused 10 union leaders for not allowing finished goods to go out side the factory, and warned that administration should take firm steps if the orders are not carried out properly.

Earlier, the Sangrami Yukta Manch held a Uttarpara Bandh on 12 April, which was supported actively by the Hooghly District Committee of AICCTU.

AICCTU Statement of Solidarity with Striking BEST Workers in Mumbai

(In protest against non-payment of interim dearness allowances and refusal to revise pay scales, BEST transport workers went on a 72-hour strike, that was eventually called off following assurances that the demands would be considered, and no ‘vindictive action’ would be taken against striking workers. Below is the statement that AICCTU and the DTC Workers’ Unity Centre had issued in solidarity with the BEST struggle when it was facing a severe crackdown.)
AICCTU and DTC Workers’ Unity Centre strongly condemns the repressive measures being meted out to striking BEST workers by the Maharashtra Government and the BEST management. We express solidarity with the striking BEST workers and demand that the Maharashtra Government and BEST management immediately initiate dialogue with the workers to resolve their just demands. 
It is shocking that without initiating any dialogue with the workers, 35000 BEST workers were served termination notices on the very first day of the Strike and notices to begin fresh recruitments were issued. However, the Government withdrew the termination notices and gave an ultimatum to workers to return to work unconditionally by 6 pm on 20 April. Quite clearly, the threat of termination is being held like a sword over the heads of the workers.

This step of the Maharashtra Government brings to mind the action of the Jayalalitha regime in Tamil Nadu a few years back. AICCTU holds that insensitivity to workers’ basic demands is a key feature common to Governments of all hues that are implementing policies of liberalisation. The repressive measures being invoked are an attempt to force the workers’ movement into a defensive position. Workers’ movements face a tough challenge, and there is n alternative but to intensify the struggle to reverse the policies of liberalization and fight to safeguard and expand workers’ rights.