May Day: Workers’ Charter Movement 2011

Thousands of Workers Converge on Jantar-Mantar to Present Their Charter of Demands, 3 Year Long Program of Struggle Launched

New Delhi, 2 May. Thousands of workers coming from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Chhattisgarh have warned the central government that if the demands of the 80 crore toiling masses are not urgently paid attention to, the increasing dissent among the workers could take a rebellious turn.

While announcing the launch of country-wide ‘Workers’ Satyagrah’ in the workers’ assembly which continued till late evening yesterday on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the May Day, it was stated that if the government does not take action on the 26-point charter, the toiling masses from every nook and corner of the country will be mobilized by holding worker Panchayats in all the industrial regions, workers’ settlements and villages and after 3 years, lacs of workers will lay siege to the national capital.

The main demands of the charter which was presented to the government include: enforcing an 8 hours working day, stop forced overtime, increase minimum wage to Rs. 11,000 per month, abolish contract system, make proper safety arrangements in factories and payment of proper compensation in case of accidents, ensure equal rights to women workers, safeguard interests of migrant workers, registration of all domestic and independent daily wage workers and construction workers, put an end to the corruption in the labour departments and effective implementation and review of labour laws. It was announced in the meeting that it was a beginning of a long drawn battle for the political and economic rights of the workers.

The speakers expressed their anguish about the fact that in the ongoing movement against corruption there is no mention of the corruption which victimizes crores of workers every day. Without targeting the tactics of the industrialists to deprive millions of workers of their rights by openly flouting the labour laws, the movement against corruption cannot be meaningful.

While discussing the changes which have been brought about in the forms of the industries and the exploitation machinery and the disintegration of labour movement, the speakers said that in the ‘Workers’ Charter Movement’ the workers are being united under a combined banner.

Tapish from Textiles Workers’ Union, Gorakhpur; Rajvinder and Lakhvinder from the Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Ludhiana; Abhinav from Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, Delhi; Ashish from Karawal Nagar Mazdoor Union, Delhi; Ganesh Ram Chaoudhary, President, Chhattishgarh Mines Workers Union; Shekh Ansar, Vice President, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha; Kavita from Stree Mazdoor Sangathan, Delhi; Pramod Kumar from Bigul Mazdoor Dasta; Gorakhpur; Roopesh, labor organizer from north-west Delhi and a number of workers from different regions put forward their view point. The meeting was compered by Satyam of workers paper Mazdoor Bigul. Folk singer Faguram Yadav from Chattisgarsh elevated the spirit of the demonstrators through his spirited songs.

Around 8 thousand labourers coming from the distant corners of the country consisted largely of unorganized workers of small and large factories. Women workers also came in large numbers from Delhi and outside. Processions of workers coming from outside started pouring in Jantar Mantar from railway stations and bus stands right from the morning, holding red flags and placards and even after the meeting ended workers were discussing forthcoming program in small gatherings on the Jantar Mantar road till late in the evening and the process of the workers leaving the meeting place continued till 9 pm.

For, Convening Committee,

Workers’ Charter Movement 2011

Abhinav, Phone, 9999379381 Email: aandolan2011@gmail.com

Satyam, Phone: 9910462009, Email: satyamvarma@gmail.com

For English Translation of the 26-point charter and other information, visit:

http://www.workerscharter.in

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