INTUC Chief Warns of Stir Against Modi Govt's Policies
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Narendra Modi Government at the Centre has unequivocally proved its affinity for the corporate houses within a short span by giving scant regard to the working class in the country and as a result, trade unions cutting across political affiliations are being forced to take the path of agitations, INTUC national president G Sanjeeva Reddy said here on Saturday.
“The government is provoking and instigating us to take an extreme path,” he said and added that Modi had been successful indeed in uniting all the trade unions in the country within a short span of time.
Participating in a Meet-the-press programme organised by the Kesari Memorial Journalists’ Trust here, Sanjeeva Reddy said that the NDA Government seems to be in a hurry to not only curtail the existing rights of workers but to the extent of even setting ground for massive retrenchment of employees in all sectors and reckless disinvestment in core industries such as Defence and Railways.
“We don’t want to politicise the issue. The trade unions were watching and giving a cooling off time to the government to come out with its economic policies.
We want to extend all sort of cooperation to the government, but what is evident is that unilateral decisions are being imposed upon the working class in the zest to pamper employers,” he said.
Reddy said that the INTUC was not against bringing investment but it should be on the terms set by the country, with scope for creating enough jobs.
“We want to share the responsibility for nation building, for which, dialogues have to take place. But the government is not bothered to hold discussions with TUs on anything,” the INTUC chief said.
“A meeting of Central Trade Unions is slated to be held in New Delhi on August 7 to chalk out a course of action against the background of anti-labour policies of the Union Government,” he said.
“The government is doing nothing to arrest the price rise of essential commodities but instead is touting policies to shoot up the cost of living along with loss of jobs.
When life becomes terrible for all sections of the society, the trade unions cannot simply sit and tolerate it,” Reddy said.
“If agitations are launched by the trade unions in the emerging context, it will eventually become mass movements as people across the country who are affected by the economic policies in one way or the other will spill over to the streets.
The situation will become explosive soon, no matter the NDA Government has a massive mandate,” said R Chandrasekharan, INTUC state president and national vice- president, who was also present.
“India has a history of throwing away heavy weights within a short time even after handing out landslide victories, whenever they turned anti-people,” he observed.
According to INTUC Maharashtra unit general secretary and national treasurer K K Nair, the voice of the trade unions were always heard by ruling establishments and it could not be otherwise this time also.
INTUC Delegation Meets CM
A delegation of the INTUC led by national president G Sanjeeva Reddy met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday and urged to prevail upon the Union Govt to grant a ‘power generation subsidy’ for the state in view of its geographical disadvantage.
“Owing to the growing energy crisis, the very existence of all PSUs in the state is at stake. Kerala is facing a most disadvantageous situation on the power front. The Centre has to provide sops for more power generation and attract investments in this sector,” INTUC state president and national vice-president R Chandrasekharan, who was in the team which submitted a memorandum to Chandy, said here.
“It is a big challenge. Not only state PSUs but Central PSUs such as HNL, Velloor; NTPC Kayamkulam unit; FACT and Cochin Shipyard are facing hard times,” he said. “Without sufficient power, Kerala cannot move forward,” Chandrasekharan said. Sanjeeva Reddy, in his memorandum, also appealed Chandy to take up with the Centre a sovereign guarantee for Rs 300 crore loan for the Velloor unit of Hindustan Newsprint Ltd or a corresponding financial package directly from the Centre.
Chandrasekharan said that there was no change in INTUC’s stand that the labour portfolio should be taken over by the Congress.
He said that the declared policy of INTUC is that only one union under its banner should be there in a given enterprise.
He said that TU stands fully opposed to the ‘nokkukooli’ system.