In the midst of an election where the discourse on labour issues, or even those affecting the working class such as inflation and wage stagnation, is sorely absent, trade unions organised programmes in Bangalore to sensitise workers on these issues.
Rallies were held through the day and awareness building programmes were organised, drawing participation from workers across formal and informal sectors.
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions rally from the Town Hall to the Freedom Park saw participation from hundreds of workers, including garment workers, industrial employees and those from the unorganised sectors such as domestic workers, construction labourers and agarbathi workers.
K.N. Umesh, Karnataka State Secretary of the CITU, said that workers need to unite to fight the “anti-people policies” of the governments. “Recently, in a historic effort, all Central trade unions came together with a list of demands. But the governments, neither in the State or the Centre have responded to this,” he said.
Politicians from the State’s major political parties have been indifferent to these crucial demands, he said. Mr. Umesh stressed the need to “launch a class war” against this indifference and neo-liberal policies that are affecting the working class.
As part of the CPI(M)’s election campaign in K.R. Puram, where Gowramma has been fielded, a May Day rally was organised, attended by CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat. Hundreds of workers gathered from across the city to participate in the programme. Similar programmes were held in Anekal, Nelamangala and Doddaballapur.
The South India Federation of Trade Unions (SIFTU), which works primarily with informal sector workers with focus on domestic workers, took out a rally from the passport office in Koramangala to the National Games Village.
A SIFTU member said that apart from the rally, workers undertook the exercise of distributing pamphlets to residents of NGV Colony to sensitise them on the issues faced by domestic workers.
Tumkur Staff Correspondent reports:
“The development the world has seen is due to the hard work of the working class and not the capitalists,” State president of Karnataka Vigyan Parishat H.S. Niranjanardhya said after inaugurating a May Day programme organised by the district unit of CITU in Tumkur on Wednesday. He called upon the labour class to get united and fight for their rights.
District CITU secretary N.K. Subramanya and district CITU president Syed Mujeeb spoke.