A 12-day long march organised by trade unions of the Left parties concluded on Wednesday in Kolkata with a massive gathering of people. The march which started from the Chittaranjan Locomotives Works (CLW) near Asansol in the State on November 30.
The march continued for 12 days in which the trade union supporters of Left parties among others marched about 283 km on foot from Chittaranjan to Kolkata. The march called against the Centre’s move of privatization of public service undertakings (PSU’s) was also joined by INTUC, the labour arm of Congress party and All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) the peasant wing of Communist party of India (Marxist). Thousands of people who participated in the march assembled at the concluding rally at Rani Rashmoni Road in the city.
“In the last five years, the Public Sector-controlled factories such as Bengal Chemicals have been targeted and the Centre is trying to sell them to private players,” Tapan Sen, general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), labour wing of CPI(M) said.
Addressing the gathering the CITU leader said the time of having discussion with the government on the privatization of PSUs is over and the trade unions will have to resists attempts to privatise the situation on the ground. Mr. Sen gave instance that attempts by the Centre to privatize Alloy Steel Plant in Bengal has been foiled because of protests by trade unions.
“Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are trying to finish the industries that are not only important to this country, but industries that are important for our farmers as well,” said Dr. Ashok Dhawale, president of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS). The leaders who addressed the gathering said the next target is to ensure that national strike called by trade unions on January 8, 2020 is a success. The AIKS leadership assured that peasant organizations will give support to the trade union strike called next month.