Just one month after the swearing in of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) govt in Delhi, the party finds itself in the eye of a major controversy involving its Law Minister – Somnath Bharti. From a high point just when the party appeared to be invincible, with droves of previously apolitical middle classes (steeped in accompanying virtues of an ascending neo-liberal driven economy) joining the party, success went into their heads as if they were beyond reproach.
President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address January 28th, 2014 to an audience of millions of Americans looking for signs of relief from consistently deteriorating living standards. Obama commented on the ever expanding gap between the very rich and the rest of us, and he spoke about raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour.
It was indeed a very spirited protest event, in which the message against the India-Japan Nuclear Deal was loud and clear, Around 150 protesters predominantly young and women participated in the ‘Protest Welcome to Mr Abe’ and shouted slogans against India-Japan Nuclear Deal which is in the offing.
Students from St. Aloysius Degree College, Trainees from Indian Social Institute, United Theological College (UTC), members from the LGBTQ community, left and progressive individuals were among the participants at the protest event at Town Hall on 25th January ’14, which was organised under the banner of Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns-Bangalore.
On 15th January, New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) along with other pro- people organizations protested at Town hall in Bangalore, under the banner of People’s solidarity concerns- Bangalore as part of National Day of Protest against POSCO. POSCO has been involved in forcible land acquisition for the project much before the recent environmental clearances were accorded. It has also been involved in acts to violently suppress the anti-POSCO struggle through every unconstitutional and illegal means, from hiring criminal elements to intimidation and murder of local activists spearheading the movement, exposing the extent to which they are willing to bypass the law to bulldoze their way through.
Workers from Swedish company Alfa Laval India Pvt Ltd. situated at Kasarwadi, Pune are on a strike for the last three months (from September) with their main demand to make them permanent. Alfa Laval is involved in the production of heat exchangers.
More than 400 workers are on strike. Of them, 80% are working in the company from last 10 to 15 years. Remaining have completed at least 4 to 5 years. Many of them are treated as trainees since their joining till date, with a payment roughly between Rs. 8000 to 10,000, which is hardly sufficient to make ends meet. The company did not make most of the workers permanent, when it should have after 240 days of joining, violating the labour laws of the land. Most of them were in fact hired as sweepers and cleaners on paper, when in fact they are actually involved in production and are trained workers with diplomas (ITI). The company currently has only 60 permanent workers and another 250 semi-permanent workers (who are yet to show solidarity with their striking compatriots and are affiliated to different unions).