1st September 2016
Foil the Conspiracy to Sabotage the Countrywide General Strike:
STRIKE IS ON
The Union Labour Minister, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya had sent a release to Media and press on 31st August 2016 at 9 pm trumpeting on “NDA Govt’s commitment to fair earnings and social security for the workers.”
CITU considers this statement a deliberate “misinformation campaign” to create confusion and to sabotage the countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2016, which all sections of workers and employees have already prepared to join.
The Labour Minister claimed to have announced a 42% rise in minimum wage for the workers in central sphere. What does that mean for the workers and the unions who have demanded fixation of statutory minimum wage for all workers in the country at not less than Rs 18000/- per month? This means that minimum wage for workers in the “C” category areas should be at least Rs 18000, making it proportionally higher in “B” and “A” category areas, i.e., Rs 22320 and 26560 respectively. The government’s offer of Rs 9100/-, Rs 11362/- and Rs 13598/- respectively for the workers of central sphere in “C”, “B” and “A” category areas respectively is not even half of what all the central trade unions including BMS unitedly demanded and have been pursuing since last five years; they vociferously argued for the same on the latest occasion in the meeting of the Minimum Wage Advisory Board held on 29th August 2016. How could a trade union worth its name accept such a mockery on their genuine demand formulated on the basis of a formula accepted by the central govt also? BMS may consider this mockery of offer a “historic achievement” owing to their compulsion, but others cannot.
And who is going to be benefited by this offer. This offer is for the workers in the central sphere which as per Minister’s own estimate is 70 lakh. This will not benefit even one per cent of the non-agricultural workforce in the country, if at all it is implemented. For 99% plus workers of the country this offer means nothing at all. Does the minister have any answer for them?
The trade unions had been all along demanding for a statutory binding arrangement for Minimum Wage applicable throughout the country. Making noise over some marginal increase, that too for the extremely minority section of workers in the central sphere is aimed at deceiving the overwhelming majority of the workforce.
Hon’ble Minister announced that the Govt will pay the employers contribution in provident fund and pension for three years. Why should the national exchequer pay for employers’ statutory liability toward PF and pension? But this is a government that has been allowing the corporate to pilfer national exchequer by not paying due taxes (Rs 5 lakh crore), indulging them not to pay back loans taken from banks (Rs 8.5 lakh crore); they are also paying the employer the cost of training the apprentices partially, and now the Govt has decided to shoulder employers’ statutory liability toward PF and pension for three years not from their own pocket but from the national exchequer. What else can be called loot on national asset? Claiming these anti national measures as ‘commitment to national development’ is nothing but hypocrisy.
CITU asserts that this kind of gimmickry will not deter the workers of the country from their struggle. THE STRIKE IS ON
(TAPAN SEN )