The All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) has called for trade unity in the country “to fight the onslaught of the corporate sector and the adverse impact of the policies of liberalisation” on the people. The AITUC is not averse to be part of a big single trade union for the whole country for this purpose though this may be a distant dream, it said.

“Our appeal is to all the trade unions in the country to come together to fight for the common cause at the decisive moment. A united trade union movement to halt the onslaught of the corporates and to bring about a change in the policies of the Government is the need of the hour,” said Gurdas Das Gupta, MP and general secretary of AITUC, talking to media persons at the conclusion of the three-day General Council meeting here on Thursday.

The General Council session here in which over 300 delegates participated passed a resolution expressing solidarity with social activist Binayak Sen and condemned his conviction. The resolution said the trade unions propose to meet the Chief Justice of India to seek justice in his case.

“The general strike on September 7 last year was part of the unity efforts. Now the next is the massive rally, ‘Delhi Chalo', scheduled for February 23. Barring the BMS and the Labour Progressive Front, all the major trade unions, including INTUC, have agreed to join the rally. We hope these trade unions too change their mind by the time the rally takes place,” Mr. Das Gupta said. The five-point demands of the trade unions are: effective measures to curb inflation; stopping violation of labour laws; putting on hold disinvestment of profit-making public sector undertakings; setting up an adequate Central fund for providing social security to workers in the unorganised sector; and to end the system of contract jobs and outsourcing. “The productivity of Indian workers has gone up 20 times but the wages are not commensurate with it. This is not a satisfactory situation,” Mr. Dasgupta said.