[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) today released a 13-point charter of demands calling for, among other things, an increase in minimum wage to Rs 26,000 per month, a time bound implementation of notified minimum wages in all the industrial areas of Delhi and the immediate withdrawal of fixed term employment and the National Employment Through Apprenticeship Programme (NETAP).
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi today, Santosh Roy, President, AICCTU Delhi said the ‘Achhe Din’ promised by the government had only led to mass violations of labour rights and a drastic fall in the bargaining capacity of workers. The jolts caused by demonetisation and GST had wreaked havoc for the most marginalised section of workers, he said.
In Delhi, the elected government does not have any real powers to address the plight of workers, its reluctance to engage with trade unions just like the government in the Centre was exacerbating the damage, he said.
Pledge against “fascist government”
Pledging to vote against what they described as the “fascist government” at the Centre, while waging a united battle for labour rights in Delhi, the trade union activists, who along with Roy also included Advocate Surya Prakash, Shweta Raj, Secretary AICCTU Delhi, said when dozens of workers were burnt alive in the factories of the National Capital for the profit of few, it was necessary for the workers of industrial areas of Delhi to unite and raise their demands before the Lok Sabha election.
The country has witnessed an era of fierce darkness in the last five years. People have been killed on the streets in broad daylight over what they eat; the entire government machinery is deployed for the protection of rioters and those inciting hate. The Ambanis and Adanis have got richer, while the masses are suffering because of unemployment and poverty.
“The country has witnessed an era of fierce darkness in the last five years. People have been killed on the streets in broad daylight over what they eat; the entire government machinery is deployed for the protection of rioters and those inciting hate. The Ambanis and Adanis have got richer, while the masses are suffering because of unemployment and poverty,” Roy said.
The AICCTU charter of demands are as follows:-
- An immediate end to the politics of hate and violence. All people/parties engaging in fanning communal violence must be punished as per the laws of the land.
- The generation of dignified employment opportunities through policy level changes, by putting an end to contractualisation, filling of all government posts and creation of new posts.
- Control of price rise and affordable and quality housing, transportation, health and education facilities that is accessible to all workers.
- End to house-rent escalation and roll back of Delhi Metro fare hikes.
- Lowering of the prices of LPG cylinder, petrol-diesel and CNG.
- Immediate withdrawal of the anti-worker ‘Fixed term employment’, National Employability Enhancement Mission (NEEM) and National Employment Through Apprenticeship Programme (NETAP).
- Time-bound implementation of notified minimum wages in all industrial areas of Delhi and an increase of minimum wages to Rs 26,000 per month.
- A proper survey of all factories and the creation of a database for all industrial areas, detailing the number of different kinds of workers engaged in various establishments.
- Compulsory registration of trade unions within 45 days of application, punishment for factory owners engaging in union-busting and victimisation of union activists. An end to attacks on union rights and laws to ensure necessary recognition of unions by all factory owners.
- Regular meetings of the officials/concerned minister(s) with trade unions to ensure the betterment of workers.
- Strengthening of labour department offices, immediate recruitment of inspectors and prompt disposal of cases of labour law violations.
- Worker-friendly and corruption free labour department.
- Strict enforcement of labour laws, and amendments to increase penal provisions in existing laws.
- Equal employment opportunities and pay to women workers and an end to all discriminatory rules and behaviour against women workers and the implementation of the Vishakha guidelines at the workplace.
- The end to harassment of migrant workers; policies to ensure proper rights and dignity to all workers and the strict implementation of laws meant for the welfare of migrant workers.