APPEAL TO GENERAL MASS

HIND MAZDOOR SABHA APPEAL TO GENERAL MASSES

In 1991 the then Government of India decided to welcome globalization. For development capital is needed. Hence it invited foreign capital. Government   decided to reform the policy in favour of foreign capital and also  opened  the borders for  multinationals  allowing them to sale their  products in our country without restrictions and FDI was warmly welcomed on red carpet  to our country by starting  their business by purchasing the existing factories/companies or to start new business or manufacturing, establishments,   Government assured to supply cheaper land, electricity and other infrastructural facilities on very nominal/subsidised rates and also ensured to prevent formation of unions in the name of “Export promoting zone”, “special economic zone” etc for that purpose the government  issued a notification banning formation of union in these areas.

The Government assured  the people of the nation that globalisation will bring more jobs, as new companies will invest, it would increase our foreign exchange deposits, unemployment will be reduced, poverty will decline, GDP will increase with                                                       per capita income increase ultimately the standard of living of common people will increase and India will enter into group of developed nations.

Government   also issued an order after approval of the Cabinet that in future no new post would be created in all Government and Public Sector organizations. As a result all the vacancies under normal wastage i.e. retirement and 3% regular surrender of posts every year, death and VRS are still lying vacant where as the work load has increased manifold.

All such increased work load was transferred in informal sector by allowing private contractor to work in the organised sector. Thus the Government has become the main violator of contract labour (Act 1970).  In Government sector more than 40% perennial nature work has been transferred to private contractors violating the existing Act.

Similarly, around 50% of perennial nature of work in profit making public sector undertakings has been handed over to   contractors.  Since 1991 to 2017  more than 50 percent of decent jobs have been transferred to informal sector as indecent jobs with no minimum wage,  no job security, no fixed hours of work, no social security, unsafe, unhygienic, unhealthy working condition etc.

More than 25 years have gone the results of the above are contrary to the assurances given by the Government in 1991.

In Government/Public Sector, Decent Job areas has been squeezed/ reduced/

Curtailed and transferred to informal sector where no job security, no minimum wages, no social security, no fixed hours of duty and very inhuman working conditions. The Government also decided to disinvest from profit making Public Sector Undertakings to bring Private players It also encouraged Public/Private partnership. So that Private players can exploit the workers and earn profit out of that without any restriction with the support of the Government.

The UPA Government failed on the following counts ;- (a)   To control the price rise, inflation, failed to enforce the labour laws, unemployment, dead burden, big scams, increasing criminalization, attack on civilians by the criminals, women safety. General Law and Order, corruption and above all a series of scams involving big politicians. It created an anti incumbancy wave in the nation and people starting looking for a change.

The Central Trade Unions formed a Joint after  sustained efforts of senior leaders like late comrade Umraomal Purohit, late comrade M.K.Pandhey and Comrade Gurudas Das Gupta and others to come together to to fight against the anti workers, anti people policies of Government. INTUC, BMS, AITUC, HMS ,CITU, AICCTU, AIUTUC, UTUC, LPF, SEWA, TUCC joined hands together and decided to protest against the anti people policies of Government of India All Central Trade Unions successfully organised 2 one day nationwide and one 2 day nationwide industrial strikes successfully.   Majority of workers supported   the joint call of Central Trade Unions despite all efforts made by the Government to foil the strike.

Due to the awareness created by trade unions people decided to change the Government. The Bhartiya Janta Party led NDA took full advantage of negative sentiments of people against UPA and in their election campaign they assured controlling of price rise, inflation, unemployment, to provide decent employment with  job security, social security, free medical treatment, free education, up to higher classes, ensure enforcement of Labour Laws providing house with all amenities to all and also to protect the farmers, income proper compensation for farmers for damage of their crops due to flood,  draught and other natural calamities etc.  if given a chance,. The Prime Ministerial candidate of NDA assured that “I would do the justice for poor people, dynasty rule will end. “I belong to a poor family so I know what poverty is”

He also assured farmers to provide them interest free loan, waive off the previous loan, and provide Mandis   for sale of their products at the nearest place, scam free Government, will bring back Black Money stashed abroad and will distribute among citizen at rate of 15 lakh per person, will bring the culprits of the scams to books and send them to jail etc.

Trusting leaders of NDA the General masses who wanted  change of Government at Centre voted BJP led NDA with an open heart hoping the assurances will be fulfilled.

After taking the oath of Prime minister of India Mr. Modi declared that “my designation is Pradhan Sewak not the Prime Minister. I will fulfil all the promises made during the election campaign”. He also emphasised ‘Shram Ev Jayate’. But from the day one the union Governments and on its advice, guidance, motivation, direction , some of the state Government are engaged in tarnishing the very well knit labour management system of the nation by diluting, amending or snatching the hard earned labour friendly provisions in major labour laws to facilitate the Corporate Houses for “hire and fire”.

The Government has amended or proposed to amend Trade Union Act 1926, Factory Act 1948, Industrial Employment Standing Rules (Central) 1946, Apprenticeship Act 1961, Payment of Gratuity Act 1972, Employees Provident Fund and Misc. Provisions Act 1952, Child Labour Act 1986, Contract Act1970, ESI Act 1948, Child Labour (elimination and rehabilitation) Act 1986.

It has brought Small Factories Bill for establishments employing less than 40 workers which has been exempted from 14 basic labour laws,. It has also brought shop and Establishment Act. At one end Government proposes amendments in existing labour laws, on the other it has decided to amalgamate 44 Central Labour Laws in 4-5 Labour Codes- The Labour Code on Industrial relations, Labour code on wages and Labour Code on Social Security drafts have come in public domain, Government has introduced “fixed term employment”. The basic purpose of the these amendments/ proposed amendments is how to curtail/dilute or snatch the workers protection and provide conducive environment for “hire and fire” to employers and facilitate them in the name of “Start Up” “Skill India” , “Make in India” “Smart India” “Ease of doing business” etc. The role of Government has taken a sharp shift from “custodian of workers” to the “facilitator of employers”.

Government with the amendment in Factories Act 1948 Section 64-65 has enhanced the maximum number of hours of overtime in one quarter from 50 hrs. To 125 hrs, has enhanced the threshold limits of workers for any enterprise to be factory form 10-20 for those using power and from 20-40 for those not using power. Amending Chapter VB of Industrial dispute Act 1947 enhanced the threshold limit for employees to obtain prior permission of appropriate Government for lay off, lock out and closure from 100 to 300 employees, In Contract Labour Act., the threshold limit of workers has been raised from 20-50. Now it will be applicable on establishments employing 50 contract workers. These are very few examples. Inspections have been discouraged, restricted or minimised despite the fact that India has ratified the ILO Convention pertaining to Inspection,, Convention 81, Women workers have been allowed to work in night shift. Under proposed amendment the trade union working in organised sector will not have “any outsider even a retired employee” in the   Executive Body and those working in unorganised sector can have maximum two outsiders.

Government has introduced 100 percent Foreign direct investment in core industries like Railways, Bank, Insurance and strategically most sensitive sector of defence production. It is increasing disinvestment from Public Sector undertakings, making roads to private players, domestic and Global Corporate Houses.

India has ratified ILO Convention 144 on Tripartite Mechanism. Has its own Tripartite mechanism in the name of Indian Labour conference but while doing the above amendments the Government initially avoided tripartite discussion but when the pressure from international and National Agencies increased it started the same but only for name sake.

The 7th Central Pay Commission Recommendations ar also the worse ever recommendations so far. We could get around 40 percent hike in 6th Central Pay Commission but 7th Central Pay Commission recommended around 14 percent which practically comes less than 10 percent in certain cases, has withdrawn several allowances. The Sub-Committees formed to review allowances have not come out with their decision.

These issues cannot be fought out individually. It is high time for Trade Union Unity and solidarity to fight out these challenges not only trade union leaders, general masses are to be sensitized on these issues.

Recently during assembly elections in 5 states followed by civic body elections in some states it was noticed that none of the political parties raised above mentioned issues during their election campaign though the issues directly effects more that 470 million workers and if their families are added it becomes the majority of the voters.

Instead of raising the main issues and to divert the attention of the electorate issues like “Grave Yard”, “cremations Ground”, discrimination in providing power during Eid and Deepawali and other such communal issues were raised by star campaigners including Hon’ble Prime Minister with an object of polarisation for majority votes and they succeeded to a very large extent.

Since next parliament elections are due in 2019 and many other states will go to pole this year or next year the Government wishes that this divide should continue and become stronger. We have been reading incidence of caste. Religion based volume.

Violence under the cover of Cow/ Gao Rakshak and what not. These are very serious issues which need to be discussed effectively otherwise they may cause immense damage to one of our main pillar of secularism.

The polices of the Government have resulted in concentration of wealth. As per survey published in leading news papers one percent population of the nation is holding 53% of the wealth of the country. The GDP might have shown a little increase but the benefits are not reaching the poor. Unemployment has increased.

As per labour bureau report the economy growing at about 7% but during April 16 to Jan 17 only 2.3 lakh jobs could be created in the nation in eight sectors namely manufacturing, construction, trade, transport, Accn and Restaurant, IT/BPO, Education and health and most of them not the Decent or permanent jobs, but low paid. 7% decline in job has been recorded in construction hospitality and food sectors. The report revealed that 68% households were earning only Rs 10,000 per month or less. Nearly 16 carore people in the workforce were under employed.(Source TOI 19th May 2017)

The above facts show that Government has failed on all major fronts. Instead of accepting the facts the Government  is engaged in making false propoganda and publicity.

As awakened citizen we are duty bound to bring these facts to the notice of General masses, make them aware and prepare to take a stand in days to come that any political party which does not include their issues in it’s manifesto will not be allowed to visit their areas and will face stiff opposition from masses.

For this we have to garner support from each and every section of the society starting with public representatives as Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha, Members, Members of State Assemblies and councils, Panchayatraj, Institutions, Advocates, Judiciary, students as they are sure victim of Government polices, farmers, worker male/female organised or unorganised sector.

Hind Mazdoor appeals one and all to go through the facts, collect more such facts, bring to the notice of general masses, prepare them to voice their concern and make this programme a campaign to safe guard democracy and secularism in the country

Please send your views on hms1gs@gmail.com or on our website www.hindmazdoorsabha.com or on our face book hindmazdoorsabha.

 With greetings

 Yours sincerely

Harbhajan Singh Sidhu

General Secretary

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