Salute the Garment Women Workers of Bangalore
Fight for Rs. 100/-an hour Minimum Wage
Yet again the trade unions of Bangalore city have missed a historic opportunity to have a united May Day programme, especially in the light of the recent heroic (or should we write HEROINIC) and successful sudden strike of Garment Workers, predominantly women, who emphatically defeated the evil capitalist designs of the Modi led Central Government which tried to steal the Provident Fund savings from the working class of this country.
It is unfortunate that the major trade unions, especially the ones led by CPIM and CPI have utterly failed to understand the significance of the recent two day strike of the Women Garment Workers of Bangalore city. As the leadership did not come from them, they have a very sectarian and business as usual attitude towards it.
The 19th & 20th April strike, surely shook the Modi administration to its roots, and forced the cabinet to roll back the plans to “reform” the PF scheme. Further the government also without much opposition have restored the interest rate on PF to 8.8%, which is nothing but a victory caused by the 1.2 lakh Garment women worker’s struggle.
The Women workers who slog for paltry wages in the city’s thousands of Garment Manufacturing units, who are often dubbed and pushed around as “un-organised”, in action showed the possibilities as to what can be achieved if workers are united, even if no leadership is provided. The tide of Class Struggle doesn’t wait eternally for the leadership to appear, like water, the Class Anger finds its own level.
There will be umpteen number of TU rallies and meetings tomorrow on May 1st, even eulogising the Garment Workers on their struggle against PF reform, but this May Day should have been a united platform for discussing the strategy and tactics as to how the UNIONISATION can take place among the non-unionised and scattered millions of workers who are becoming easy prey for exploitation by the bosses.
The New Socialist Alternative, will be joining all efforts of struggle for the release of all those 286 workers who are implicated with false charges of vandalism. The Workers are not goons, the anti-social elements who vandalised on that day came from Mafia organisations who pretend to “organise” the workers. These elements are on the payrolls of factory bosses to “keep an eye” on the working people. In fact it is the vacuum created by the TU leadership that Mafia elements have entered the scene.
No wonder that the the present day unions do not attract the workers to their ranks as most see them as top-down, and lack of democratic functioning, where the decision making on crucial issues such as wages, working conditions, and composition of leadership are all decided by the “experts” in closed door meetings. While the system of secret ballot is practised in most union elections, but it is an open secret as to how stitched-up these elections are.
On this May Day of 2016.
We salute the Women Garment Workers of Bangalore who defeated the Modi administration and snatched a victory to the entire working class of the country through their unprecedented and united class action.
We demand the release of all those 286 Women & Men workers who are incarcerated in jail with fabricated cases of vandalism.
We demand the restructuring of the TU movement to a Democratic-Fighting-Emancipatory movement, which will embrace all sections of the exploited and oppressed especially the Dalits, Women and other working people.
We call upon all Trade Unions both Central and State, to start the unionisation drive with right earnest. In the 21st century, it is a blot on the TU movement to be in a situation where 93% of India’s labour to be termed as “un-organised”!
The woefully low wages of the Indian Working people is indeed a 21st century miracle as to how the majority of workers live in such a penury. The Indian Capitalist Class and their political representatives have had a hay day until now with out a challenge on this front. While a Living Wage in this unequal and brutal world is still a far cry, it is high time that we demand Rs.100/- an Hour Minimum Wage, irrespective of trade and category of workers. A vigorous campaign will galvanise all the workers to join unions to fight for this demand.
On this May Day it is our duty to Salute the Working People around the world, who are keeping up the traditions of fighting for a Equitable World free of exploitation in all fronts. As the working class knows no boundaries and has a common goal to fight Capitalism, Landlord-ism, Poverty and Hunger, we must shout loudly Workers of the World Unite and Fight.
New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India)