Solidarity with the struggles of the working people everywhere in the world.
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has called upon trade unions and mass organisations to channelise the anger of the deprived masses into a powerful movement against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that is pursuing neoliberal policies.
Inaugurating the five-day 14th national conference of the CITU here on Thursday in which 2,000 delegates from different parts of the country were attending, CITU president A.K. Padmanabhan said the Central government being one of the largest employers was also one of the worst violators of labour laws and regulations. Over one crore people, mainly women, were working in various government schemes such as Anganwadis without being recognised as workers. The Union Budget had completely ignored the major problems confronting the people, namely price, unemployment and growing inequalities. The pro-rich bias was clearly visible in the budget which provided sops to the corporates, while it failed to increase public expenditure, he said. Expressing solidarity with the struggles of the working people everywhere in the world experiencing the impact of austerity measures and increasing disparities, Mr. Padmanabhan said that the situation in Latin America was a major exception to the world trend of disparities. He paid tributes to the role of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for working out alternative policies.
Referring to the Sri Lankan issue, he said India should intervene to ensure political settlement there and punishment to those involved in crimes against Tamils.
The CITU president also referred to increasing incidents of violence against women and children as also against marginalised sections of the people and urged the trade union movement to be vigilant against such incidents.
Apartment from leaders of the central trade unions including the Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and the United Trade Union Congress, the inaugural session was attended by International Labour Organisation representative Ariel B. Castro, Self-Employed Women’s Association secretary Sonia George and Alexandria Lymperi of the World Federation of Trade Unions.
Organising committee chairman and Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan welcomed the gathering. CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, party leaders E.P. Jayarajan and P.K. Sreemathi, Communist Party of India leader Kanam Rajendran, and State CITU leaders Anathalavattom Anandan and Elamaram Karim were present.
CITU general secretary Tapan Sen presented the report at the delegates’ session that followed.
The conference began with the CITU president hoisting the flag at the venue. The delegates also paid floral tributes to the memory of martyrs.