Workers jammed the railway track and held a rally
The nationwide strike call given by the 11 Central Trade Unions and various independent federations, unions and associations had an effective participation on the second day today. The workers affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), INTUC, BMS, CTU, TUCC and CITU observed strike today in their respective industries and other institutions and thereafter they gathered at Bus stand from where they marched to the Provident Fund Office in Sham Nagar. After that workers in Thousands went to the Loco Diesel Shed and jammed the railway track and held a rally. Today’s protest rally was presided over by Com Om Parkash Mehta - AITUC, Com Jatinder Pal Singh of CITU and Shri Swaran Singh of INTUC, Com Paramjeet Singh of CTU, Sh Nageshwar Singh of BMS, Shri Sham Narain Yadav of TUCC. Speaking on the occasion state leaders Com Raghunath Singh, General Secretary of CITU Punjab, Com. Inderjeet Singh- President CTU Punjab, Com Paramjeet Singh of CTU, Sh. Swaran Singh- President INTUC Punjab, Hari Singh Sahni-TUCC and Com D P Maur member state working committee AITUC.
The speakers said that yesterday’s strike was a complete success and it reflected the growing resentment among the working class against the anti people policies of the government. They demanded minimum wages to be fixed by the Punjab Govt. @ for unskilled workers Rs 10,000, Semi Skilled 15,000, Skilled workers 20,000 per month, end to contractual and outsourcing and filling up of all govt. and semi govt. posts on regular basis, to disband the new pension policy effective from 1.1.2004 and implement the same old pension scheme on all employees. They also demanded creation of social security fund for the workers of the unorganized sector. They cited low wages in the state as major reason for the shortage of labour in the state. They demanded all anti worker acts recently promulgated by the Punjab government to be withdrawn with immediate effect. The speakers said that the labour laws in the state are being flouted by both public and private sector with impunity. The contractual workers in both the sectors be regularized hence forth. These must be implemented in letter and spirit. They deplored that under the process of so called globalization and privatization at the diktat of the world bank and International Monetary Fund , the economic policies of both central and state governments there has been accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, while vast majority is suffering under acute poverty and unemployment. Latest reports have indicated that 100 top rich families in India own assets to the tune of 16 lakh crores of rupees where as 70% are forced to live on meager spending of Rs. 16.60 per day. Speaking on the occasion Com. Tarsem Jodhan, Com D P Maur, Com Ram Lal, Jagdish Chand and Gurjeet Singh Jagpal, Gulzar Singh Gorea opposed FDI in banks, LIC and retail as this will hit the job situation hard for the employees and also the production in the small scale sector. They also demanded regular jobs and equal wages for ASHA, Aanganwadi and mid day meal workers. They warned that if the govt. does not change its economic policies benefitting the rich and the corporate sector, then more militant agitations are on the anvil. Others who addressed include Com Bhagirath Paliwal, Suresh Sood, Gurnam Gill, Laddoo shah, Haniuman Prasad Dubey, Samar Bahadur, Gurnam Sidhu, Kameshwar Yadav, Sarbjit Singh Sarhali, Manjeet Singh Buta, Charan Dass, Amarnath Kumkalan, S K Tiwari and Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Com Naresh Gaur, Dr Arun Mitra and Shri Gurbaksh Rai.
The protestors included large number of women, construction workers, industrial workers, Public health workers, contractual workers, Corporation workers, roadways and others sections of workers and employees.