The recent victory of contract workers of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing (RAKCON) marks a significant milestone in the history of health workers struggle in Delhi. They won in the midst of the COVID pandemic, against criminal negligence by the central government and defying anti-people laws being passed by the Parliament. On 1st February this year, about 40 contractual employees were fired from RAKCON located in Moolchand, Delhi without any notice. Since then, the employees have been waging a battle against the termination.
(Interview with AICCTU National Secretary and CPIML Karnataka Secretary Clifton D’Rozario, who is also an advocate who has consistently argued Covid-19 and lockdown relief cases in the Karnataka High Court. The interview is reproduced with gratitude from The Third Eye, 18 June 2021)
Can we talk about the Right to Food campaign and the issue of food security as part of public health?
The lethal second wave of COVID has devastated the country's job market to unimaginable proportions. Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has published data exposing the horrific reality of joblessness during the ongoing pandemic and recorded a loss of one crore employment, one of the steepest falls during the last four months!
On 21st June, 2021, the Minister for Health tweeted that India had administered the highest ever single day coverage across the world, with 86.16 lakh on that day.
This is one more in the series of tall claims made by the Government that are mere manipulation of facts and numbers with little actual impact on the ground.
Central Government has published draft Industrial Relations (Central) Recognition of Negotiating Union or Negotiating Council and Adjudication of Disputes of Trade Unions Rules 2021 on 04/05/2021, seeking comments within 30 days. At the very outset, it well exemplifies the callous attitude of the Government in issuing these Rules at a time when the country is worst hit by the second wave of the COVID Pandemic, with more than 3 lakh deaths across the country.
Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, affirms that “everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security”. This right is snatched away by the recent passage of the Code on Social Security, 2020 (CSS). The CSS may seem to increase coverage, but actually dilutes workers’ rights.
II. Attack on Federalism
Hands Off the 8-Hour Day! Withdraw the anti-worker Bill!
7 June 2021
The working class and toiling masses of Greece will embark on an historic General Strike on June 10 against the anti-labour Bill proposed by the conservative New Democracy (ND) government. The Bill introduces several anti-worker measures, including increasing working hours from 8 to 10 hours per day, scrapping the five-day work-week and curtailing the right to strike. The proposed bill is a barbaric attack on the rights of workers, hard earned through long struggles.
As a part of an all-India campaign “In Memory of Loved Ones: Count Every Death, Share Every Loss”, jointly organized by intellectuals and social activists across the country, various sections of workers, including scheme workers, railway employees, sanitation and municipal workers and other unorganised and organised sections honoured the memory of people who died during the Covid period by lighting candles and remembering every death.
On 14th June, 2021, the Farmers' agitation, led by Samyukta Kisan Morcha completed 200 days of continuous protest on and occupation of main highways leading into national capital Delhi, for their demands to repeal three farm laws, taking back the Electricity (Amendment) Ordnance, 2021 and legal guarantee for the MSP.