Workers urged to unite against exploitation and to strengthen trade unions
FROM OUR BUREAU
GUWAHATI/ZIRA/DOOMDOOMA , MAY 1: With a call to unite against exploitation of working class and to strengthen the trade unions, May Day was observed here today at zira tiya Mandir in the aegis of CPI’s Assam State committee.
A colorful procession was taken out at zira as a port of the celebration. Later a public meeting was held at zita tiya Mandir where veteran CPI leader and former MP Drurpod Borgohain, central executive member of CPI Kak Gogoi addressed the gatherings.
The Assam Government Press Industrial Employees Association, also observed the day by hoisting the flag in the Assam Government Press premises. Shram Parishad, Asom, a unit of the Asom Ga Parishad (AGP) also organized a day-long programme to observe the May Day.
Meanwhile, Mr Paban Singh Ghatowar, former Union Minister and President, Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha(ACMS) made an scathing attack on the attempt of NDA Government to soften the existing Labour Laws of the country and exhorted the tea-workers to oppose it tooth and il to protect the interest of the working class.
Addressing a mammoth May Day Celebration meeting organized by Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS),’s Doomdooma Branch, he gave a brief account of the long-drawn struggles that had to be undertaken by the tea workers to fulfill their various demands including wage enhancement, increase of bonus, release of provident fund (P. F.) and gratuity etc. He said women workers of the tea garden were given only 11 days maternity leave previously but at the intervention of the INTUC to which ACMS is affiliated, the tea companies filly agreed to give three months maternity leave with wages.
He also divulged that ACMS will have its women committee at the circle level besides having lady members at tea estate units.
The meeting which was chaired by Mr Dileswar Tanti, Ex-MLA and currently the Secretary, ACMS was also addressed by Mr Himanta Biswa Sarma, former Education and Health Minister. Mr Sarmah said at the suggestion of Paban Singh Ghatowar he made provision of reserving seats in Engineering colleges, Agriculture colleges, Dibrugarh University, Gauhati University and in newly started three medical colleges of Assam.
Sarma also said that he also took steps for provincialisig and upgrading the tea-garden LP schools and linking Tea –garden Hospitals under NRHM for providing better health-care facilities to tea-garden community. The meeting was also attended by Rajiv Sarma, former president of Assam Youth Congress and Diganta Kalita, secretary of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee(APCC).
On the other hand, Hindustan-Unilever Persol Product Factory Workers Union(HUPPFWU) also celebrated May Day at Doomdooma Press Club. A public meeting was held on the occasion which was presided over advocate Tarini Deka. Mr Sutan Ghose, Secretary of (HUPPFWU) explained the objective of the meeting. Mr Dhiren Deka, senior jourlist and leading social worker, who attended the function as chief guest explained the present dismal political and economic scerio of the country in the wake of globalization and liberalization.
The gradual curtailment of workers’ rights and service securities so far enjoyed by the workers will amount to denying of democratic rights and rampant corruption and growing unemployment would retard the development of the country, Deka said in his speech.
The meeting was also addressed by Mr Maneswar Barman, Ex-Principal, Digboi College. Barman in his speech pointed out that the economic policies of the Governments pursued during the last two decades have done no good to the common people and if it is not checked, it will soon take us to pre-May Day struggle period and no real development will take place.