On 25th May, Indian Railway Employees' Federation (IREF)(affiliated to AICCTU) with all its affiliates in Zonal Railways and Production Units staged protests throughout Indian Railways to highlight eight demands arising out of their burning issues:
History of the Indian Railways gangmen dates back to the days of British imperialism when the first railway track was laid between Boribunder (Mumbai) and Thane in 1853. Poor Peasants having been uprooted from the land, left their villages for livelihood and got themselves engaged as labourers by a private railway company under the East India Company in laying railway tracks. Even in plague-affected areas they were forced to work hard without medical aid.
Almost one crore scheme workers all over the country shoulder the burden of implementing several important public schemes of the central government on health and education. They include ASHA workers (working under National Rural Health Mission program), Anganvadi workers (working under ICDS program) and MDM workers (working under Mid Day Meal scheme for school children). Almost 95% of the scheme workers in the country are women. These scheme workers are the backbone in ensuring basic health and nutrition to vast majority of the country’s population.
While the Modi-2 government at centre is being rightly held responsible for Corona-2 catastrophe in the country by people’s movements, the virtual collapse of India's public health care system in the face of 2nd wave has become a worrisome point. This wave of Corona pandemic has absolutely exposed the hollowness of our country’s public health care system and the criminally apathetic attitude of the ‘elected’ rulers towards the health care of common people.
They are not just cajoling Corporations, Beware!
They are implementing an integral design of
Arms Sales of Hindu Rashtra!
[This is a foreword by Comrade Shankar V, all India president of AICCTU, to a book written in Tamil titled, “The Fall of Ordnance Establishments and its Implications” by a long time trade union and worker activist, Comrade Azhageshwaran, of Ordnance Factory at Trichy (OFT), Tamil Nadu]
The central government has recently passed four anti-Labour Codes that, in the name of ‘ease of doing business’, effectively crush the hard-won rights of the working class. One such right that has been heavily impaired is the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain. It has been done through the heavily problematic provisions in the Industrial Relations Code (hereinafter the Code) which replaces the Industrial Disputes Act (ID Act), 1947, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 and the Trade Unions Act, 1926.
The Forgotten Frontline Workers: Safai Karamcharis, Hospital D-Group Workers, ASHA Workers and Crematorium Workers
While everyone is speaking about the doctors and nurses, who are most definitely working on the frontlines and whose services are, of course, laudable during this pandemic, it is necessary for us to remember the frontline workers who are often neglected – the Safai Karamcharis / Sanitation Workers, the D-Group workers in hospitals, ASHA Workers and Crematorium workers.
This is a well-documented report that has analysed the impact of one year of Covid-19 in India, on jobs, incomes, inequality, and poverty. The rising inequality and loss of wages is really alarming. It says, “our analysis shows that the pandemic has further increased informality and led to a severe decline in earnings for the majority of workers resulting in a sudden increase in poverty. Women and younger workers have been disproportionately affected. Households have coped by reducing food intake, borrowing, and selling assets.