Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Strike is biggest ever, says Dasgupta

Shiv Sahay Singh
Gurudas Dasgupta
Gurudas Dasgupta
Privatisation of coal mining will lead to illegal mining, underpayment of workers and misrepresentation of actual production of coal to avoid taxes, Gurudas Dasgupta, general secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), told The Hindu here on Tuesday.
More than five lakh workers, both regular and contractual in the coal sector, belonging to five major trade unions of the country began a five-day coal industry strike primarily to oppose the promulgation of the coal ordinance by the Centre. The strike is expected to hit coal production in the country.
Calling it a strike of unprecedented nature, probably the biggest ever in the industry, Mr. Dasgupta said the workers had called the strike in protest against the policies of the Centre in the coal sector, particularly against the coal ordinance. The AITUC, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions and the Hind Mazdoor Sangh are participating in the strike.
He said India was dangerously moving towards a situation of economic stagnation and unregulated so-called “market reforms.”
Commenting on the participation of the BMS, affiliated to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, in the strike, he said trade unions would unite and fight relentlessly against the pro-corporate policies of the Centre. Those policies were anti-national. The responsibility of the trade unions was to work for the interest of workers and against corporate oppression. It had been a long-standing principle of trade unions and therefore unity could be built among them irrespective of the nature of government in power.


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