Shillong, May 1: Along with the rest of the world, May Day was observed in Shillong today.
A short gathering to observe the Day was organized by the Meghalaya Joint Council of Trade Unions and Associations (MJCTU&A), an apex trade union body in Meghalaya.
May Day is a day of struggle, solidarity and celebration for the working people all over the world and paid tributes to revolutionary leaders and workers who had struggled for the rights and liberty of workers, employees and common people.
MJCTU&A representatives and members spoke about issues concerning the welfare of workers and informed the gathering resolution adopted by the Trade Union.
Among the resolutions, the Trade Union demanded public holiday on May Day that the Meghalaya government should declare, safety and security of employees in their workplace, particularly with reference to cases of intimidation of employees of the Meghalaya Rural Ban in Garo Hills, demanding continuation of Special Category state status to Meghalaya and other North Eastern states, extending support and solidarity to Central government employees who are on the path of struggles with their 10-point charter of demands, and expressing support and solidarity to the struggles of bank employees and employees of postal department and opposed “anti-labour” policies of the Central government.
On this day, the MJCTU&A distributed leaflets that highlighted problems being faced by workers in the country and the State.
According to the leaflet, the present Indian society is seeing increased atrocities on women treating them almost as commodity, price rise of all commodities, disinvestment of all sectors of public welfare, withdrawal of subsidy to poor but extending more incentive to rich or private sector, naked form of privatization drive and so on. There are also newer forms of communalization of the society and sustained efforts to curb the rights of the minorities. Workers and employees cannot remain oblivious of these divisive and derogatory trends.
“In India, the efforts of the government to strangle the workers movement are getting intensified with the change in labour laws designed in the interest of employees and the capitalists. The government wants to facilitate the removal of workers from their jobs,” the leaflet said.
The leaflet also referred to a statement made by Chief Minister of a state recently, where he vouched for workers who are ready to work for 18 hours a day, showing utter disrespect to International Labour Law.
“In another case of arrogance, the Government of India has directed all states and Union Territories to withdraw registration of MGNREGA workers under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act. The decision to include MGNREGA workers under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act was taken in 2013 on the direction of the Supreme Court in 2012. In another act of repression of workers, the employer-administration-judiciary nexus resulted in the sentence of life to 13 workers and of five years jail to another four workers of Maruti Suzuki in connection with the violence plotted by the management of Manesar Plant of Maruti in 2012,” the leaflet said.
The leaflet also stated other demands which include minimum statutory wage of Rs 18,000 per month and equal wage for similar jobs, regularization of contract workers in permanent services, payment of withheld legal dues to workers of closed industrial units, speedy solutions to all pending cases of workers in labour department, including of trade union representatives in tripartite bodies and complete stoppage of dilution of labour laws and strict enforcement of existing labour laws.?