Five-day 14th national conference to begin on Thursday

: Unity of trade unions will be the highlight of the 14th national conference of the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) beginning here on April 4.

CITU State general secretary Elamaram Karim said at a press meet here on Monday that the CITU conference was being held at a time when the trade unions in the country were united. It was the responsibility of trade unions to strengthen that unity, he said adding that intensification of class struggle to change policies was the slogan of the conference.

The five-day conference would get under way with the hoisting of the flag at the Jawahar stadium here at 6 p.m. on April 3. Organising committee chairman and Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan would hoist the flag being brought from Valiya Chudukat in Alappuzha that carried the legacy of the Punnapra-Vayalar struggle. The flag hoisting would be preceded by a rally carrying the torch to be lit at the venue of the conference christened M.K. Pandhe Nagar at the Police Maidan here.

The delegates’ session to be attended by 2,000 delegates from across India would be inaugurated by CITU president A.K. Padmanabhan at 10 a.m. on April 4. Leaders of various trade unions, including the All India Trade Union Congress, Indian National Trade Union Congress, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and the United Trade Union Congress would attend the inaugural session.

A media seminar will be held at the Stadium Corner here at 5 p.m. on April 5. Sasikumar of the Asian School of Journalism would be among those who would attend the seminar. A cultural seminar will be held at 5 p.m on April 6.

Mr. Kareem said a delegate of the World Federation of Trade Unions led by its general secretary George Mavrikos and International Labour Organisation representative Arial Castro would attend the delegates’ session. The conference will conclude on April 8 with a rally to be attended by 2 lakh workers and their families.