They attend international conference at star hotel

CITU activists, who are generally seen taking an active part in dharnas and rallies, had a different experience on Tuesday attending a meeting organised by Steel Workers’ Federation of India (SWFI) – an organisation affiliated to CITU and Trade Union International (Metal & Mining) at a five star hotel.

Several cars sporting CPI (M) banners and flags were seen parked at Four Points by Sheraton. The occasion: The two-day executive council meeting of TUI (MM) – the first to be hosted in Asia. As several delegates from 10 countries, including Spain, Cyprus and Brazil attended, the organisers thought it was better to host the day one proceedings in the hotel.

The second day session, mostly to finalise an action plan for spearheading a united struggle worldwide against threats being posed to the working class due to international capitalist crisis, will shift to Ukkunagaram – the lush-green township of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. The VSP’s recognised union is affiliated to the CITU. The foreign delegates later appreciated the struggles undertaken by VSP unions to stall privatisation of the public sector.

Asked to comment on hosting the day-1 proceedings in a star hotel, president of Steel Plant Employees’ Union and secretary of SWFI J. Ayodhya Ramu told The Hindu that it was mainly to ensure the comfort of the international delegates. Speaking at the inaugural, CITU secretary (international relations) Swadesh Debroye said the threat to working class would aggravate further if the workers were not united for a relentless struggle against forces promoting globalisation.

WFTU deputy general secretary and secretary of Asia Pacific Regional Committee H. Mohadevan said World Bank, IMF and World Trade Organisation were the main enemies, which were bent upon widening the reach of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. “Unemployment threat in the United States and the European Union is having its fallout in developing and underdeveloped countries as declining wages and job insecurity have turned common all-over,” said Igor Urrutikotexea, general secretary of TUI (MM).

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