16 mass organizations announce protests on May 22 in Punjab
Announcement made on nationwide call
Chandigarh: As many as 16 labour, workers, farmers, youth and student organizations of Punjab have announced to stage protests across the state on May 22 in response to the call of trade unions for nationwide protests.
This information was given in a joint press statement issued by labour leaders Rajwinder Singh, Lachhman Sewewala, Jagroop Singh, Pramod Kumar and farmer leaders Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Kanwalpreet Pannu today. The leaders said that the Modi government at the Center and various state governments have launched a sharp political-economic-social attack on the working class under the pretext of the Corona crisis. Other legal labour rights have been and are being violated in various states, including the implementation of the 12-hour working day instead of the stipulated 8 hours. In Punjab too, the preparations are underway to do away with the law regarding the 8-hour-working day. The BJP’s Uttar Pradesh government has announced the repeal of almost all the labour laws. The need was to strengthen the weak labour laws in favour of the workers but the governments were not only hell bent on weakening them but are now scrapping them. The process was already underway but using the Corona crisis excuse and taking advantage of the lockdown, this anti-labour and pro national-international capitalist agenda is being carried out vigorously. In this way, the governments are allowing the capitalists a free hand in exploitation and committing of other atrocities against the workers.
The leaders said that instead of taking appropriate steps to resolve the Corona crisis, governments have made it more severe. They alleged that the undemocratic and repressive lockdown imposed on the people by the government under the pretext of battling the coronavirus has by exposing the workers to the risk of suffering from hunger, physical weakness, increased threat from corona and other diseases, long journeys on foot and bicycles, police repression, unauthorized arrests, accidents, suicides, etc. has played a criminal role in causing trouble to the workers, the long term lethal consequences of which the workers and people will have to suffer. They said that instead of solving the problems of the people, the governments were opening the treasury to the capitalists in the name of economic package by using the damage caused to the country and state during to coronavirus and the lockdown as an excuse. Further, concrete steps have been taken for complete privatization of power sector and other public services. Under the guise of agricultural relief, actual economic resources have been plundered off to the capitalists of the agro based industries. On the other hand, it has launched a major political-economic attack on the people by pushing them in the face of the Corona crisis, lockdowns and other catastrophes. The organizations have called on the working class, other working people and pro-democracy masses to join the vigorous struggle and protests against the onslaught of the ruling class on May 22, with appropriate precautions.
These 16 organizations include Textile Hosiery Kaamgar Union, Power Com and Trasco Contract Employees Union, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, Technical Services Union, Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan), Kisan Sangharsh Committee Punjab, Moulder and Steel Workers Union, Water Supply and Sanitation Contract Workers Union Punjab, Naujwan Bharat Sabha (Lalkaar), P.S.U. (Shaheed Randhawa), Youth Bharat Sabha, P.S.U.(Lalkaar), Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant Lehra Mohabbat Contract Employees Union Azad, Contract Employees Sangharsh Committee Power Com Zone Bathinda and Punjab Roadways / Punbus Contract Workers.