Tuesday, September 1, 2015
MAKE THE 2ND SEPT STRIKE A GRAND SUCCESS
ALL UNITS OF THE ASSOCIATION ARE REQUESTED TO TAKE MAXIMUM EFFORTS TO MAKE THE 2ND SEPTEMBER STRIKE A HISTORIC SUCCESS. THE STRIKE IS BEING CONDUCTED ON THE CALL OF THE CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS IN PURSUANCE TO 12 POINT CHARTER OF DEMANDS. STRIKE NOTICE HAS ALREADY BEEN SERVED TO THE SECRETARY, MOS&PI ON 11/08/2015, WHICH IS POSTED ELSEWHERE IN THIS WEB SITE, A COPY OF THE SAME MAY BE SUBMITTED TO THE OFFICE.
Monday, August 31, 2015
4 Months Extension to 7th Pay Commission – Employees Disappointed
Two months ago, on July 24, 2015, the 7th Pay Commission had, on its official website, voluntarily said that work is on and it will be completed well within schedule. Even until the second week of August, there were no indications from the members of the 7th Pay Commission that they would require an extension. In these circumstances, the fact that the 7th Pay Commission has suddenly requested for additional time has caught many by surprise.
Even on 7.8.2015, NC Staff Side Secretary Shri. Shiva Gopal Mishra informed after meeting with 7th Pay Commission that one month may be delayed to submit the report to Govt. And consecutive news from various media, including PTI had published that the chariman of 7th CPC Justice Ashok Mathur assured to submit the report by the end of September.
After the commission submits its reports and recommendations, the higher official side will require time to debate over the issues. Keeping these in mind, it was felt that submitting the report by the end of August will ensure that the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission will be implemented without any delay, from January 1, 2016 onwards. The employees were hoping that this time around, there wouldn’t be any arrears payments. The extension has put an end to all these expectations.
A number of speculations are on about the real reason why the commission has delayed its report. Some claim that the extension has been given to the 7th Pay Commission in order for them to prepare a report on the impact of One Rank One Pension for the Defence personnel.
Now that the report has been postponed, one can be very sure that expectations will rise in the month of December.
CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES & WORKERS
MAKE THE 2ND SEPTEMBER 2015 ALL INDIA STRIKE
A HISTORIC SUCCESS.
We have placed on our website the synopsis of the discussion the leaders of the Central Trade Unions had with the Group of Ministers on the 12 point charter of demands. The Central Trade Unions evaluated the Government’s response to the strike call and have come to the conclusion that in the absence of any tangible result, the strike action must take place. The only issue on which there had been a concrete proposal from the Government was on the question of raising the bonus ceiling. In fact such an assurance has been given by the earlier Government also. Due to the pressure exerted by the employing class, the said assurance could not be translated into reality. To have the assurance to be put into practice, the Bonus Act has to be amended and that is possible only in the next session of the parliament. In other words, if one is to believe the assurance held out by the Government on the question of raising the ceiling for bonus computation, it can only have prospective effect i.e. for the next year 2016. We firmly believe that the corporate would not allow the present government to give effect to this assurance. The acrimonious ceiling on bonus while allowing unlimited extraction of profit for the companies is to be fought out through bitter struggles.
There had been no word from the Government on the question of rolling back its proposals on the labour reforms. The proposed labour reforms will hurt the working class most. The regularization of contract workers, payment of minimum wage, ensuring statutory Pension benefit, the registration or recognition of trade unions within a stipulated time limit to enable the workers to have the right to collective bargaining, the non implementation of the agreements reached at the various tripartite Labour conferences were some of the significant issues on which the working class sought settlement. The Group of Ministers has successfully eluded the issues. The BMS unions have declared that they would withdraw from the strike action. Their decision being political based is understandable, but is difficult to appreciate. We can only hope against hope that they would realize the reality of the situation in the days to come and become part of the joint struggles very soon.
The 7th CPC has sought further time to submit its report. They are now likely to submit their report by 31st December, 2015. Given the way the commission had acted on this vital issue, we are not certain of it. It is on the specious plea that they would be submitting their report within the stipulated time, they had rejected our demand for interim relief. They ought to have submitted an interim report to the Government before seeking further time on the memorandum submitted by the Staff Side on merger of DA and Interim relief. Even if the report is submitted say by 31st December, 2015, which we feel is unlikely, the Government is bound to take another six months to take a view on the Commission’s recommendations. It is incumbent upon the National JCA to meet immediately and take appropriate decision in the light of the unexpected step taken by the Commission in seeking further time to submit its report. They must go ahead with the decision to go on strike from 23rd November, 2015 demanding the Commission to submit urgently an interim report on merger of DA and Interim relief.
There had been no positive steps taken by the government to revive the functioning of the JCM at National or Departmental levels. There appears to be no intention on their part to cause discussion on our charter of demands. In this background we must revitalize and rejuvenate the functioning of our Organizations at all levels. We have received excellent reports of the strike preparation from all over the country.
DO EVERYTHING NEEDED TO MAKE THE 2ND SEPTEMBER, STRIKE A STUPENDOUS SUCCESS.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
28t h August 2015
COUNTRYWIDE GENERAL STRIKE ON 2ND SEPTEMBER STANDS
CENTRAL TRADE UNIONS REASSERT THE CALL FOR UNITED ACTION
MARCH AHEAD UNITEDLY, MAKE THE COUNTRYWIDE GENERAL STRIKE ON 2ND SEPTEMBER A MASSIVE SUCCESS
After two rounds of discussion between the Group of Ministers and the central trade unions on the 12-point charter of demands of the trade unions held on 26th and 27th August 2015, the GoM headed by Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley sent an appeal through the press release dated 27-08-2015 (Press Information Bureau) after 10 pm urging upon the trade unions to reconsider the call for countrywide general strike on 2ndSeptember 2015 claiming that the Govt has given concrete assurance to consider most of the demands of the trade unions and that the trade unions agreed to consider the Govt’s proposals. Similar appeal was also made in the meeting of 27th August. Both the claims of the Govt are totally incorrect.
To put the facts straight, the joint platform of central trade unions have been pursuing with successive governments at the centre with their basic demands since 2009 and observed three rounds of countrywide general strike since 2010, the last being for two days in February 2013. In the two rounds of meeting between the CTUOs and the Group of Minister, nothing transpired in concrete terms except vague statements by the ministers on steps to be taken or being taken on some of the issues, that too not in the right direction.
The Govt’s press release mentioned, inter alia, certain issues in support of their unfounded claim.
1. The Govt stated about “appropriate legislation for making formula based minimum wages mandatory and applicable” for all. But despite concrete pointers made by the trade unions that such formula should be what has already been unanimously recommended by the 44th Indian Labour Conference in 2012 and again reiterated by 46th Indian Labour Conference in July 2015 in which the Govt of India is also a party, the Ministers did not give any concrete commitment on the same. In fact said formulae recommended by 44thILC in 2012 and reiterated by 46th ILC in July 2015, makes minimum wage around Rs 20000/- at 2014 price level and the Trade Unions demanded only Rs 15,000/. The Ministers’ vague formulation does not ensure even half of that. Is such a position worth consideration?
2. On contract workers, the Govt assured that they will be guaranteed minimum wages. What is there to assure except spreading deliberate confusion? Existing laws of the land lawfully ensures payment of minimum wages to contract workers. The Govt’s statement regarding “sector specific minimum wages for the contract workers” also does not make any sense. The trade unions demanded “same wages and other benefits as regular workers in the concerned industry/establishment to be paid to contract workers.” The 43rd Indian Labour Conference held in 2011 recommended the same and 46th ILC unanimously reiterated the same in 2015, in which, again, the present Govt is a party. How could they deny the unanimous recommendation of the highest tripartite forum in the country like Indian Labour Conference?
3. The steps taken by the Govt on Labour Law amendments, are meticulously designed to throw out more than 70% of the workers on industries and other establishments from the purview and coverage of almost all basic labour laws and also to eliminate almost all components/provisions of rights and protections of the workers. This was supplemented by more aggressive steps already taken by a good number of state governments to already amend the labour laws in the similar lines. On this issue, the Govt stated only that they will hold tripartite consultation before taking such steps. The trade unions demanded scrapping of such proposals by the central govt and also not to give assents (through President) to the unilateral amendments made by the state governments. Even in all the tripartite consultations held on some of the proposals of the Govt, the trade unions’ unanimous suggestions has been ignored by the Govt in favour of loud supportive applauds of the employers. Once these retrograde changes in labour laws totally dismantling the rights and protection measures for the workers and also throwing more that 70% of the workers out of the purview of labour laws are enacted, thereby rendering the almost entire working people a right-less entity in their workplace, what would ensure even payment of minimum wage and other social security benefits for them, even if those provisions are improved ? Can any trade union, worth its name accept such a machination designed to impose conditions of virtual slavery on the working people ?
4. Despite repeated insistence by all the trade unions, the Govt refused to concede to the demand for recognizing the Scheme workers, viz., Anganwadi, Mid-day meal, ASHA, Para-teachers and others as “worker” with attendant rights of statutory minimum wages and other benefits in gross violation of the unanimous recommendation of the 45th Indian Labour Conference in 2013, reiterated again by the 46th ILC in 2015. These workers and all the schemes have been put to further crisis threatening their existance owing to drastic cut in budgetary allocations for those schemes. In such a situation, does the assurance of the Govt to “extend social security measures” and “working out ways” for the same carry any meaning?
5. On bonus issue, the Govt has assured to revise the eligibility and calculation ceiling to Rs 21000/- and Rs 7000/- respectively from existing Rs 10000/- and Rs 3500/-. Trade Unions’ demand has been that since there is no ceiling on profit, all ceilings in the Payment of Bonus Act should be removed altogether. Trade unions also demanded substantial upward revision of the formula for gratuity calculation and remove the ceiling on gratuity payment. The Govt has negated the demands.
6. On price rise situation, claim of the Govt that it has gone down does not match with ground reality in respect of commodities for daily necessities of the common people. The demands of the trade unions for putting a ban on speculation/forward trading in essential commodities and services along with universalisation of public distribution system throughout the country have been totally ignored.
7. Trade Unions demanded stoppage of disinvestment in public sector undertakings playing crucial and supportive role in advancement of the national economy. Govt totally ignored the same, rather has been going on aggressively in disinvestment route in all the major PSUs much to the detriment of the interest of the country’s economy. On the demands for stoppage of further FDI in defence, railways and financial sector, the stance of the Govt is continuing to be a total denial. Rather, the Govt has been aggressively pursuing deregulation and privatization in strategic sectors like electricity, Port & Docks, Airports etc in a big way.
There are other issues as well, statement of Govt continued to be totally vague and their claim is unfounded. How can anybody, rather any trade union worth its name can consider above stands taken by the Govt on vital demands of the workers as a positive development and move out from the programme of united strike action ?
Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for reconsidering the decisions of the Central Trade Unions for countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2015. Rather, the situation demands that there should be no vascillation in carrying forward the call for general strike on 2nd September 2015 throughout the country in all sectors of the economy with firm determination.
The Central Trade Unions appeal to all working people irrespective of affiliations to make the call for countrywide general strike against the anti-worker, anti-people policies of Govt a massive success.
General Secretary CITU