ON the occasion of May Day 2010, the day of the international solidarity and unity of the working class, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) extends warmest revolutionary greetings to the working class and the toiling people of the country and the world. On this great day the CITU reaffirms its commitment to class struggle and reiterates its goal for establishment of a socialist state and complete emancipation of the human society from all forms of exploitation.
RISING STRUGGLES WORLDWIDE
This year’s May Day is being observed the world over amid the ongoing process of mounting protest mobilisations and united actions by the toiling masses against the onslaught brought down on them by the worst ever global crisis of the capitalist order in the form of mass-scale job losses, layoffs, closures, wage-cuts etc. The ILO estimated a job loss of more than 50 millions within a few months of the outbreak of the crisis by the end of 2008 making the total unemployed swell to 230 million over above the figure of working poor of 200 millions (living below US 1 dollar a day). By the end of 2009, another 38 millions was added to the figure of job losses. The figure swelled further thereafter since on the plea of crisis, closures, layoffs, retrenchments, wage freezes, curtailment of social security measures etc continued unabated by the employers’ class in collusion with the respective governments. India, despite remaining comparatively less affected by the crisis, owing to the dominance of public sector in her financial sector, witnessed direct loss of jobs of around 50 lakh workers besides several lakhs more affected by wage-cuts, forced leave without pay, layoffs, closures and shutdown etc.
The toiling people refused to accept the attack on their life and livelihood lying down and the intervening period since the May Day 2009 witnessed waves of strike struggles and protest mobilisations throughout the globe. France, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Spain, Portugal and UK in Europe and USA itself had been the theatre of strikes and protest mobilisations, denouncing the onslaught on workers’ rights and liberal bailouts to the handful of capitalists and the private financial giants out of the public exchequer. There have also been strikes and powerful mobilisations in South Korea, Kazakhstan, Iran, Japan, Pakistan and other Asian countries. And Latin American countries continued to be the centre of strong denouncement of neo-liberalism and imperialism.
DEVELOPMENTS IN LATIN AMERICA
On the occasion of May Day 2010, the CITU notes with pride the positive developments in the entire Latin American continent where the victory of progressive forces has mounted a serious challenge both to the neo-liberal economic policies and to imperialism. The bitter and protracted struggles fought by the working people of these countries over the decades against the plunder under the neo-liberal pro-US regimes, led to these positive developments.
And these developments also reassert that the struggle against the most inhuman and the worst ever manifestation of the world capitalist order --- the neo-liberal economic policy regime is organically linked with the struggle against imperialism. Without strong anti-imperialist focus and content, struggle against neo-liberalism cannot advance in the right direction.
GREETINGS TO SOCIALIST COUNTRIES
On this May Day, the CITU conveys its warm fraternal greetings to the working class of China, Vietnam, Cuba and North Korea for consolidating the gains of socialism and sustained improvement in the standard of living and rights of the people. They could make remarkable achievements in the midst of worldwide crisis of the capitalist order, hold high the banner of socialism and defend the superiority of the working class.
The CITU salutes with pride the victorious completion of 50 years of the great Cuban Revolution which is a saga of a constant battle against the US imperialism. The Cuban experience conclusively demonstrates that consistent adherence to ideology of socialism necessarily entails confronting imperialism.
FIGHT IMPERIALIST MACHINATIONS
On this May Day the CITU expresses condemnation against the hegemonic machinations of the imperialist forces led by US. Besides Iraq and Afghanistan still remaining the hotbed of aggression by US imperialism, the possibility of yet another front of so called ‘war on terror’ is being sought to be opened by US imperialist power in Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula with the US Missiles raiding Yemen stated to be for fighting Al-Qaeda.
The CITU reiterates its solidarity with the valiant Palestinian people in the face of inhuman military onslaught by Israel with active support of the US and its European allies. Besides fully backing Israel to continue its occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories, US imperialism is continuing with its conspiracy to attack Iran, Syria and DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).
But there are indications of changes too, arising out of murmuring and not so loud contradictions within the imperialist powers and their allies. The contradiction between US and Russia over deployment of missile defence system in Europe and subsequent backtracking of the USA indicates the prospect of emergence of multipolarity in the international arena which must be taken note of.
In the face of the rising opposition to its economic, political, and military hegemony and its increasing isolation, the US has become desperate to consolidate its influence. The US has been desperately attempting to tighten its grip over the ruling polity in the developing countries in the eastern hemisphere including the Indian sub continent. The strategic military cooperation and the Indo US nuclear deal are expressions of this intent. US imperialism has redoubled its conspiratorial attempts to weaken the opposition to its manoeuvres by the Left and other progressive forces in the developing countries, including India.
CAPITALISM STANDS EXPOSED
The current spate of crisis fuelled by so called global financial meltdown has been the inevitable culmination of the finance capital driven neo-liberal imperialist order where all aspects of economic governance are subordinated to finance capital’s lust for quickest possible gain. This crisis thoroughly exposed the extreme fragility of the world capitalist order and also totally exploded the much-touted idea of considering certain aspects of the neo-liberal package as ‘opportunity for development.’ It has also exposed the dubious mode of operation of modern capitalism under neo-liberal order. They create artificial boom in the market by fraudulent methods using public funds for their personal or cartels’ gains. When the boom bursts, the government rescues the collapsing institutions by public funds, but the people continue to lose through unemployment, loss of savings, wage cut etc. This is the real face of present day capitalism under neo-liberal globalisation, which is nothing but a loot and fraud on the people and the economy. On this May Day, the CITU renews its commitment to work for exposing this dubious system before the people while continuing to fight against its depredations.
The IMF, in its latest update of the economic outlook in January 2010, has expressed optimism about the recovery of the world economy. But what is being witnessed is nothing but a partial slowing down of the pace of decline owing to huge bailout packages and fiscal measures funded by the public exchequer and not the recovery as such. Actually, all noise of recovery is being made by the imperialist agencies as a plea for not reversing their speculation-driven neo-liberal path in the face of severe criticisms to such policies. It is clear attempt to rope in the developing economies more firmly with their pursuit of aggressive finance capital driven neo-liberalism and get their economies totally deregulated to the advantage of the rich industrialised economies.
The CITU takes pride along with the entire toiling class that owing to consistent opposition and united countrywide struggle by the working class and stout resistance by the Left forces in parliament, the financial sector of the country could not be privatised or deregulated fully, privatisation of public sector units could be halted and the country’s economy could be saved, at least partially, from inevitable collapse and disaster in the midst of global economic meltdown.
Instead of taking lessons from the crisis, the UPA government, after assuming its second term following the 15th Lok Sabha elections, has become more desperate in practically putting the national economy almost on the auction to the advantage of imperialism. At the same time, it has set in motion a regime of loot and fraud on mass of the people. Price rise is being promoted unbound and so also unhindered speculation in the commodity market to ensure windfall gains for their mentors in the capitalist, traders and big landlord lobby. Public exchequer is being frittered away for the so called stimulus for the big capitalists, both domestic and foreign. At the same time the mass of the people are being cruelly fleeced through higher burden of taxes and duties and drastic cut in basic subsidies like food, fertilisers and fuels. The whole economy is being aggressively pushed to such dangerous direction that most of the crucial inputs and commodities like fuel, fertilisers, medicines etc are being sought to be priced at par with global rates while keeping the mass of the people deprived of even the statutory minimum wages at home and/or minimum level of earnings to ensure a barely human living. The crucial public utilities like health, education, roadways, transport etc are being sought to be privatised and commercialised through so called PPP model to subserve the interests of big business. Simultaneously, blue chip public sector units in strategic, infrastructure and natural resources sector are being sought to be privatised in phases at throwaway prices. The stage is being sought to be set for loot by the big corporates and traders lobby, both domestic and foreign, by the corporate captive government. And all these signals proactive capitulation by the Indian rulers to imperialist game plan.
And as a supplementary measure to such process of loot and plunder on the people, all basic labour laws are being allowed to be desperately violated by the employers in collusion the custodians of law and order. Trade unions are not being allowed to be formed in many places and rampant victimisation of workers for forming trade unions has become the order of the day. Move is afoot and the blueprint has already been drawn to convert the entire country into an ultra-special economic zone in the name of National Manufacturing and Investment Zones (NMIZ) to make all the workplaces free from unions and any labour rights and complete freedom for the employers to rule on enslaved workforce. The motive is to weaken the people’s opposition and resistance to the anti-people policies and anti-national designs. The attack on the labour rights, as the history shows, has always been a precursor to the onslaught on the democratic rights and institutions.
On this May Day, the CITU vows to redouble its initiative to unite the toiling class in the resistance to the regime of loot and plunder on people, who produces wealth and push up GDP numbers by their sweat and blood. The working class has to resist the onslaught on its right to organise and struggle by aggressively asserting those rights in the struggle against exploitation and onslaughts. The brutality of the employers class, howsoever atrocious it might be with the active patronage of those in governance, has to be combated by the working class through demonstration of greater vigour and conviction to combat and defeat the exploitation and the exploiting class as well.
That is the challenge destined to be taken up by the working class in the coming days and let this May Day reinvigorate that revolutionary spirit within the working class movement. The CITU notes with confidence that while the correlation of forces in the political arena inside parliament has somewhat tilted towards the right, developments outside signal differently. All the trade unions, irrespective of affiliations, came together on the same platform to raise voice against price rise, against state sponsored violation of labour laws, against reckless contractisation and casualisation of workforce, against disinvestment and privatisation and demanding universal social security coverage for unorganised sector workers. The demands together demonstrate a strong disapproval to the policy of loot and plunder by the ruling polity. Already the six lakh coal workers and all their unions embarked on the path of resistance struggle, announcing a three-day countrywide strike action from May 5, 2010 against disinvestment and also the entire workforce of the public sector telecom giant BSNL announced their resolve to resort to indefinite strike if the government treads the path of disinvestment in BSNL. About a million workers courted arrest in militant demonstrations throughout the country on March 5 this year and several millions more are going to join the next course of actions. On this May Day, the CITU calls upon the working class to carry the united struggle of the working people to a militant height reflecting stronger determination of the working class to fight for reversal of the anti-people, pro-imperialist policy regime.
COMBAT THE DIVISIVE FORCES
On this May Day, the CITU reiterates its commitment to fight for defending and preserving the unity of the working class and the people which is under constant attack by disruptive forces of various hues. Communal forces are still active in the social and political arena, seeking polarisation based on religious divide. The casteist and parochial forces are also at work in creating divisive tension and riotous situation in various parts of the country, which got reflected in a number of incidents of conflicts. Terrorist and extremist outfits of both rightwing and ultra-left variety are also active in the society in their bid to channelise the popular discontent to the ultimate advantage of the exploiting class. The working class movement has to continue relentless fight against all such reactionary and divisive outfits organisationally and ideologically, to defend and broaden the unity of the working class and the people. Simultaneously, the fight against all kinds of social oppression and untouchability on the dalits and downtrodden must continue with all seriousness.
COMBAT THE ONSLAUGHT ON LEFT AND DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT
On this May Day, the CITU calls upon the working class movement to fight and combat the grievous onslaught being perpetrated on the Left and democratic movement which always stand by the working class in all its struggle and always voice their concern. In the face of Left’s uncompromising stance against neo-liberal and pro-imperialist policies of the ruling class and its successful blockade to many of their anti people projects, all the forces of right reaction aided and abetted by the imperialist agencies have become desperate in launching an all round attack against the Left movement. The entire machinery of governance, the media controlled by big bourgeoisie and various imperialist agencies together have ganged up in unleashing a malicious campaign against the Left for quite some time now.
Along with this, concerted physical attacks are also being launched against the Left and democratic movement in the strongest bastion of Left --- West Bengal --- by the gang-up of extreme right reaction and the extreme left, the so called Maoist outfit. The Trinamul Congress and the so called Maoist goons are together carrying on murderous assaults on the activists of the Left and democratic organisations of workers, peasants, students, youth and women in various parts of West Bengal. They have been setting houses on fire, blowing up railway lines, exploding mines and bombs, killing innocent people, forcing women and children at gunpoint to frontline of the armed contingents of the goons as a shield to confront the security forces. Since the last Lok Sabha elections, more than 200 activists of the democratic movement of peasants, workers, students, youth and women and also common people were killed brutally and the number is increasing everyday. The entire game plan is to create a fear psychosis and spread an atmosphere of terror in which this hoodlum extortionist contingent can reign on and mute the voice of the democratic movement.
The comrades in West Bengal, the working class and the democratic movements of peasants, agricultural workers, students, youth and women have decided not to yield the ground to these worst enemies of people. They are combating the organised plan of terror and killings bravely, with the people by their side, and have been authoring an epic of sacrifices and commitment every day.
And it is West Bengal which has always remained the advanced outpost of the struggle of working class as well as the Left movement, contributing to the decisive intervening capability of the Left forces. The intervening and deterring capability of the Left is crucial for defending the national economy from the imperialist’s grip, saving the country’s national assets and resources from the greedy targeting by the international finance capital, for building resistance to capitulation by the ruling polity to US imperialist’s politico-economic hegemonic strategy and for defending the rights of the working class thereby defending democracy as such.
The people of West Bengal have been physically in the frontline of this resistance struggle, bleeding and laying down lives. The enemy they are fighting is the enemy of the entire toiling class, the enemy of democracy, the enemy of the people’s empowerment and finally the enemy of the people. On this May Day, the CITU pledges to rouse the working class throughout the country ideologically and organisationally, to unite and fight against the brutal physical onslaught on their fellow travellers in West Bengal who always remained in the frontline of battle championing the cause of the working class and led the struggle against exploitative regime of the capitalist order.
The CITU extends warm fraternal greetings and expresses solidarity to the millions of agricultural workers, poor and middle peasantry in their struggle for right to better wages, employment, right to land, remunerative prices, cheaper credit and infrastructural and input support through massive public investment. The CITU looks forward to strengthen workers-peasants alliance for intensification of class struggle against neo-liberal policies aggravating the agrarian crisis.
The CITU also conveys its fraternal greetings and message of solidarity to the struggles of the youth and student organisations for the right to education and employment and against commercialisation and privatisation of education. The CITU conveys its warm greetings to the united struggle of women against discrimination, violence and for equality and right to appropriate representation and empowerment. In the centenary year of the International Women’s Day, the CITU asserts its firm commitment to advance and popularise the struggles of the working women.
THE APPEAL OF MAY DAY 2010
On this May Day, the CITU reiterates the commitment to international solidarity to the struggles of the toiling people all over the globe against imperialism and neo-liberal economic order.
The CITU appeals to the working people in the country to work for strengthening all-in unity of the class to combat and confront the onslaught being brought down by the corporate captive ruling polity on the rights and livelihood of the workers at every workplace; the struggle against attack on labour rights in workplace must be supplemented by solidarity actions in all others. Solidarity actions must form an inseparable part of the day to day collective life of the working people. This is the call of Hey Market martyrs.
On this May Day, the CITU calls upon the working class to remain vigilant and fight against the divisive forces of all hues --- communalism, casteism and parochialism --- while defending and expanding the unity of the class and the people in the struggle against oppression and exploitation.
Long Live International Solidarity of the Working Class!
Down with Imperialism!
Down with Neo-liberal Imperialist Globalisation!
Long Live Socialism!
Workers of the World Unite!
കടപ്പാട്: പീപ്പിള്സ് ഡെമോക്രസി