ON the occasion of May Day 2012, the day of the international solidarity and unity of the working class, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) extends warm revolutionary greetings to the entire working class and the toiling people of the country and the world. The CITU reaffirms its commitment to class struggle and the struggle for emancipation of the human society from all forms of exploitation of man by man.
May Day 2012 is being observed in a background when the working people all over the world along with mass of the people from all walks of life have been loudly voicing their indignation through worldwide numerous protest mobilisations against the very neo-liberal capitalist order which perpetuates loot and plunder on ninety-nine per cent of the common populace by one per cent in the capitalist class. The Indian working class will also be observing May Day this year with more confidence and commitment to carry on the struggle against capitalist exploitation under neo-liberal order, riding on the historic success of all out united countrywide strike action by 100 million workers on February 28, 2012, with a determination to raise the struggle to a more militant height.
This year May 1 marks the birth centenary of Comrade P Sundarayya, the legendary revolutionary leader of the toiling masses of the country. On this occasion the CITU salutes the revered memory of this relentless fighter for emancipation of the exploited classes.
The CITU calls upon all its affiliates to organise befitting programmes throughout the year to observe the birth centenary of the great revolutionary.
On the occasion of May Day the CITU reaffirms its international solidarity with the working class of the socialist countries in their struggles for upholding the principles of scientific socialism. The CITU believes that the left and progressive forces will emerge victorious in defeating the enemies who are constantly conspiring to let loose counter-revolution in the socialist countries to restore capitalism.
The CITU also expresses solidarity with the working class and toiling masses of the developed capitalist countries in their grim battle against the disastrous fall out of neo-liberal capitalist order and the nefarious design to impose the burdens of the current economic crisis on the mass of the people.
The CITU reasserts the bondage of solidarity with the working class of the developing countries in their bitter struggles simultaneously against imperialist machinations on their country’s socio-political and economic governance on the one hand and the onslaughts on their rights and livelihood by their respective ruling polity on the other under the influence of the imperialist driven neo-liberal order.
The CITU extends solidarity with the agricultural workers and poor and marginal farmers in their struggle for survival against deepening agrarian crisis and its fall out in the form aggravating poverty and destitution, dwindling employment and earnings and increasing suicides among the farming community.
The CITU also greets the fraternal mass organisations of women, youth and students who are engaged in grim struggles against discrimination, unemployment, commercialisation and privatisation of education and public utilities — all arising out of the policies of neo-liberalism. The working class must establish fraternity with these sections for joint struggles for the cause of the country and the people.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE
PEOPLE OF PALESTINE
The CITU expresses its deep anguish and indignation at the hated Zionist policy of brutal occupation, aggressions, blackmail, blockades and other criminal acts against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza that has been continuing for decades. The CITU condemns such US-imperialist sponsored, uncivilised and barbarous machination by Israeli rulers, in unequivocal terms. The CITU firmly believes that all anti-imperialist, patriotic, freedom friendly, truly pro-people and pro-working class trade union movements in the world have a moral and humanitarian responsibility to extend powerful support to the struggle of the people of Palestine.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE
OF ARAB COUNTRIES
The CITU greets the workers and the people of the Arab world who have come together in the historic popular uprising against authoritarian regimes, centring round the people’s upsurge in the countries of North Africa and Middle East. The double-faced deceit of the US led imperialist powers has been totally exposed. The US and its European allies are conspiring and promoting disturbances against the governments of Syria and Iran who are not subservient to them, in the name of democracy and civil rights etc, while at the same time openly supporting the brutal suppression and atrocities on the people’s upsurge against the pro-imperialist autocratic regimes in Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia etc with money and military supplies. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, the US has built up military bases in the strategically located and oil-rich Arab countries.
On the occasion of May Day, the CITU appeals to the international trade union movement to extend powerful support to the fighting people of the region and to strongly condemn US imperialism and its European allies for their hegemonic interference in the region with the ulterior motive to instal neo-puppet regimes in the oil rich countries of the regions.
GREETINGS TO THE
PEOPLE OF LATIN AMERICA
On this May Day the CITU greets the Latin American working class for the decades-long determined and militant struggles along with the mass of the people against the economic plunder of imperialism forcing imperialist retreat.
The victory of the pro-Left political forces in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and some other South American countries as well and their endeavour for an alternative path to neo-liberalism, have delivered a severe blow to US imperialism. The coming together of the 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations at a conference in Venezuela recently and founding a regional forum called Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is a very significant development.
Socialist Cuba continues to be a beacon of anti-imperialist struggles in the entire Latin American continent. It has played catalytic role in motivating, uniting and mobilising the people of Latin America against US imperialism. Moreover, despite economic blockade and constant conspiratorial onslaught of the US imperialist and other counter-revolutionary forces, the social progress achieved by Cuba is a matter of great inspiration to the working class.
OF MAY DAY 2012
On this May Day 2012, the barbarous face of capitalism stands further exposed under the stewardship of international finance capital in the format of imperialist neo-liberal politico-economic order. In this order, inequality, disparity, poverty and unemployment are promoted on the one hand resulting in rapid reduction in the purchasing power of the mass of the people thereby squeezing the market; on the other, speculation gets priority over productive-employment-generating investment for quick and maximum profit without any hassle. This has led to explosion of worst ever crisis and financial meltdown in the world capitalist order. The crisis originated in the main centre of imperialist power, the United States, and engulfed the entire capitalist world, the advanced industrialised economies most severely.
The burden of the entire crisis, as usual, is being passed on to the toiling people through unemployment, price-rise promoted by speculation, cut on wages and social security and fast informalisation of workplaces through rapid casualisation and contractualisation and various other means while simultaneously bailing out the perpetuator of the crisis --- the capitalist class under the total grip of finance capital.
Mass of the toiling people have now started refusing to accept such loot and plunder on them lying down by one per cent of the capitalist class. The entire Europe is witnessing waves of strike action by the working people against onslaught on their rights and livelihood and similar protest action has also engulfed various countries of Africa and Asia and also got manifested in USA and even Israel. And precisely in this backdrop the world is now witnessing the spontaneous outbreak of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement which originated in the USA last September and gradually spread to 75 cities in the USA itself and to thousands of cities in almost all corners of the globe. And from this movement the slogan was raised – “ninety nine per cent versus one per cent” and “billions for speculators and pennies for the people,” demonstrating intolerance to the system of one per cent capitalists looting ninety nine per cent of the people.
The CITU welcomes such spontaneous manifestation of peoples’ anger against the onslaught on their rights and livelihood through the spread of organised struggles of working class all over the world. The CITU believes, it is now the task of the working class movement committed to the philosophy of class struggle to raise such growing intolerance to capitalist onslaught on their livelihood to the consciousness and determination for changing the system altogether by overthrowing the inhuman neo-liberal capitalist order. Let May Day of 2012 invigorate such commitment and zeal in the organised movement of working people on a global scale, let us all work with that determination.
This year’s May Day is a proud moment of the Indian working class for the unprecedented all-in-unity of the trade unions in the struggle for ten points demands aimed at defending and promoting the economic sovereignty of the country and achieving the basic socio-economic rights of all sections of the working class and toiling people of the country. The February 28, 2012 nationwide general strike, which is the 14th in the series since the introduction of neo-liberalism in the country in 1991 and involved around 100 million workers in the strike action, has many salient features unparalleled in the contemporary history of strike struggles by modern working class all over the world.
The UPA-2 government has been aggressively pursuing the neo-liberal agenda. Backbreaking rise in prices of essential commodities including food is being promoted and so also unhindered speculation in the commodity market to ensure windfall gains for the capitalist, traders and big landlord lobby. Crucial inputs and essential requirements like fuel, fertilisers, medicines etc are being priced at par with developed economies while keeping the mass of the people deprived of even the statutory minimum wages which can hardly provide for bare survival. Public utilities like health, education, roadways, transport etc are being privatised and commercialised through the so called PPP model to subserve the interests of big business. Simultaneously, blue chip public sector units in strategic, infrastructure and natural resources sector are being sought to be privatised in phases. And the whole neo-liberal process of economic governance in the form of deregulation and privatisation has led to, besides impoverishing the people, explosive exposure of big ticket corruption one after another, all involving plunder of precious natural resources by handful of big corporates, both domestic and foreign.
Such process of loot and plunder of the country and its people which has become synonymous to the capitalist system itself under neo-liberal dispensation, is continuing unabated despite organized protests by the toiling people. The toiling people are fleeced under the design of ‘austerity drive’ while the capitalist class continues to enjoy undue benefits of ‘bailout packages’ at a huge cost to public exchequer. In the current union budget also, while subsidies on food, fuel and fertilisers meant for the ninety nine per cent of the common populace is targeted to be brought down to mere 1.75 per cent of GDP, the same Govt showed no hesitation in allowing a huge concessions and perpetual tax default together to the tune of more than 5 per cent of GDP for the one per cent moneyed class among the large corporates, landlords and traders.
Workers are punished with dismissal and other punitive measures by employers for organising or leading trade unions and even murdered by police or hired goons of employers. And of late, active move is afoot to completely change the labour laws to legitimise the violations and empower the employers to hire and fire at will; pension system is being totally privatised to allow the pension funds to be handled by the speculators, both domestic and foreign along with switching over from a system of assured pension to a system dependent on the market forces. Employment and decent work have become the worst victims under various counts – retrenchment, recruitment ban, outsourcing, casualisation, contractualisation, informalisation, “no wage but honorarium instead” and so on.
On this May Day, the CITU vows to redouble its initiative to unite the toiling class in the resistance to the regime of loot and plunder on people, who produces wealth and push up GDP numbers by their sweat and blood. The brutality of the employers class, howsoever atrocious it might be with the active patronage of those in governance, have to be combated by the working class through demonstration of greater unity, vigour and conviction to combat and defeat the exploitation and the exploiting class as well.
The challenge before us is to preserve and widen the unity of the working class and the people as a whole in carrying forward the fight against the exploitative system and also against the disruptive and divisive forces which seek to divide the people on caste, religion, parochial, identity and various other lines. Fight against all kinds of social oppression championing the cause of most downtrodden sections of the society, and fight against all hues of communal, fundamentalist and divisive forces is also to be carried forward simultaneously by the working class movement.
As a follow-up to the historic general strike of February 28, 2012, the CITU calls upon the working class to widen further the all in unity of trade unions at the grassroots level and carry the united struggle of the working people to a militant height to fight for reversal of the anti-people pro-imperialist policy regime.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE
STRUGGLE AGAINST ATTACK
ON DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT
WITHIN THE COUNTRY
The international day of working class solidarity brings forth the task of organising solidarity with renewed vigour with the struggle against attack on working class and democratic movement within the country as well. In midst of crisis, the capitalist employers and the governments at their behest became more atrocious and desperate in crushing down collective assertion of the workers and trade unions for their just demands and rights. In many workplaces in the country, even the initiative to form trade unions is attacked with dismissal and other forms of victimisation by the employers along with false implication of the workers and union activists in criminal cases by the employers-administration combine. The incidents at Maruti Suzuki plant at Gurgaon (Haryana), Foxconn and Hyundai in Tamilnadu, and Volvo in Karnataka are some the examples. Such incidents of attack are expected to rise and widespread solidarity action by the working class all over the country is the urgent need of the hour, if the increasing attacks for eliminating or crushing trade unions by the employers-government combine is to be combated effectively. May Day 2012 must invigorate such spirit and consciousness for solidarity-preparedness among the trade union movement.
ATTACKS ON THE
PEOPLE OF WEST BENGAL
Attacks on trade union and democratic rights assumed a new dimension in West Bengal where immediately after the last assembly elections in May 2011 and the formation of a TMC-Congress government, violent physical attacks have been unleashed on the trade unions, the CITU in particular and also on other trade unions and mass organisations of peasants, students, youth and women by the armed TMC-Congress hoodlums, with the police remaining a silent onlooker in most of the cases. Trade union offices are being set on fire and ransacked, Left supporters are being physically attacked, women including the Anganwadi employees are molested and tortured, houses set on fire and many of our comrades have been killed. Till date 58 leading activists of the democratic movement were killed including six from the trade unions; the number is increasing everyday. In the run up to the preparatory campaign of February 28, 2012 general strike, two of our comrades, Pradip Tah and Kamal Gayen were brutally murdered.
Around 400 union offices were captured and hundreds were ransacked. Workers are being threatened and terrorised to desert the CITU and other trade unions. In many areas, contract workers owing allegiance to the CITU unions were thrown out of employment and new sets of workers engaged at reduced wages in connivance with the contractors. An atmosphere of terror is being sought to be created to maim the Left opposition and democratic movement. Such a situation bears ominous portents for democracy and the fascistic design to suppress the class and mass organisations in this strong bastion is aimed at weakening and marginalising any opposition to the anti-people neo-liberal measures being unleashed by the TMC-Congress regime in the state. Along with the democratic movement, trade union movement led by the CITU has been resisting the attacks braving all atrocities. The TMC government minced no words in declaring their intent to put a ban on right to strike in general and in particular on trade union rights of the government employees. All these are attacks on the rights and livelihood of the toiling class and are not confined to Left supporters alone. Resistance against these attacks has to be built up through broader class mobilisations.
Similar disturbance and attacks are being sought to be created in Left-front ruled Tripura state where assembly elections are going to be held in early 2013. In Kerala also, another stronghold of working class and democratic movement similar maligning campaign along with occasional physical attacks are being launched by the right-wing forces since last assembly election.
On this May Day, the CITU, while offering Red Salute to the martyrs of working class and democratic movement, pledges to rouse the working class throughout the country ideologically and organizationally, to unite and fight against the brutal onslaught on their fellow travellers in West Bengal and also in Kerala and Tripura who always remained in the frontline of battle championing the cause of the working class and led the struggle against exploitative regime of the capitalist order.
THE APPEAL OF
MAY DAY 2012
On this May Day 2012, the CITU reasserts its commitment to international solidarity with the struggles being carried on by the working class throughout the globe against neo-liberal order and in defence of their rights and livelihood.
The CITU appeals to the working people in the country to work for strengthening the all in unity of the trade union movement in the country to combat and confront the onslaught being brought down by the corporate captive ruling polity on the rights and livelihood of the workers at every workplace; the struggle against attack on labour rights in workplace must be supplemented by solidarity actions in all others. Solidarity actions must form an inseparable part of the day to day collective life of the working people. This is the call of May Day.
On this May Day the CITU calls upon the working class to remain vigilant and fight against the divisive forces of all hues --- communalism, casteism and parochialism while defending and expanding the unity of the class and the people in the struggle against oppression and exploitation.
Long Live International Solidarity of the Working Class!
Down with Capitalism & Imperialism!
Down with Neo-Liberal Imperialist Globalisation!
Long Live Socialism!