Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bank Unions hold a massive rally

 In support of the 10 point Charter of Demands
On the call given by United Forum of Bank Unions, officers and employees in all the public sector banks are observing 2 days nationwide continuous general strike on 20th & 21st Feb. 2013 alongwith Central trade unions in our country to protest against the Central Government’s anti-people, anti-labour and the pro-corporate neo-liberal economic policies on the following demands:-

• In support of the 10 point Charter of Demands of Central Trade Unions.
• Control alarming price rise
• Stop anti-labour policies and Hands off trade union rights
• Stop Banking Reforms
• Stop Outsourcing
• Early wage revision
• Settle pending issues like compassionate appointment scheme                                   

United Forum of Bank Unions hold a massive rally in front of Canara Bank, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana.  Com. Sudesh Kumar, Chairman, Punjab Bank Employees Federation,  Com. Naresh Gaur, Convener, United Forum of Bank Unions, Com. Ashok Awasthy (PBEF), Com. Gulshan Chauhan, Com. Rakesh Khanna, Com. Baljinder Singh, Com. J.P.Kalra (All India Bank Officers’ Confederation), Com. D.C.Landra (NCBE),   Com. K.S.Sandhu, Com. Gurbachan Singh (AIBOA) and Com. D.P.Maur General Secretary, Joint Council of Trade Unions addressed the bank employees.

While addressing the bank employees, leaders of the United Forum said that the historic unity of the trade unions on the same platform has opened up new possibility of developing resistance against the attack unleashed by Government and the corporate. The sky high inflation of food prices and stagnation of the economy are the characteristics of the crisis that has engulfed the nation. The Government has no policy to curb the price and contain the recession of the economy, mitigate poverty and job loss. In the race to implement banking reforms, there is grim all around politically and economically. The Government has no policy to face the challenge. It seeks to throw all the burden of the crisis on the common people. Turning its back to the national interest, the government is initiating steps one after another which is inflaming inflation and accentuating economic stagnation. The Government is recklessly increasing the price of all the commodities that is so urgently necessary for daily life. It is not the organized workers in the industrial sector who are grossly affected; it is the contract workers, informal and casual labour which is the worst victim. While the industrial workers who are organized are sure to be denied of the legitimate rights, increase in bonus and wages, the unorganized sector will be more rudely affected through job loss, wage cut and on payment of  minimum wage and denial of statutory dues.   

Banking sector is no exception. Attempts are on to reduce and dilute the Government’s equity capital in Public Sector Banks. Attempts are equally on to boost private capital in the equity of our PSBs. For public sector banks, the Government talks of mergers and consolidation to shrink the scope of social banking. But in the same breath, the Government wants to encourage and expand private sector banking. New Licenses are sought to be given to industrial houses to start their own private Banks. This is the double standard of the Government. Banking Laws are amended to convert bad loans of corporate houses as investments in the equity capital of the very same defaulters. Huge loans are being written off to favour the rich borrowers. Rural branches are sought to be closed down and rural banking is being given to private outsourced Business Correspondents. Priority Sector loan targets are not being reached by many Banks. Corporate loans are increasing. Banks are appearing to draft from the goals and objectives of bank nationalization. In one word, the clock is sought to be reversed. 

Banking industry is one of the potential employment generating agencies in our country. But in the last 20 years, recruitments were virtually banned and after our struggle, some recruitments are taking place recently. But this is totally inadequate. Bank’s business has increased manifold. More and more services have been undertaken but matching recruitments are not taking place. In the next few years, large scale retirements will take place and hence further recruitment is needed. But  Banks  are trying to outsource the regular and permanent jobs to contract employees. This will reduce the scope for permanent jobs and affect the job security. This will also result in exploitation of unemployed youth. We oppose outsourcing of permanent jobs and demanding adequate recruitments and revival of BSRBs for recruitment of bank staff.  

Various important issues raised by UFBU still remain unresolved such as issues like compassionate appointment, revised housing loan scheme to bank employees, improvements in pension scheme, proper implementation of settlement, denial of pension option to persons opted under VRS and those resigned their jobs for want of VRS, defined and regulated working hours, 5 day banking etc; which are pending for resolution for a long time.  
Leaders of the United Forum further said that “Hit out those who have hit the people”. Mount counter-offensive to stall the atrocity of the Government. It is the right moment to make a mass intervention. Indignation against the government is brewing. The spontaneous outburst of anger is taking place everywhere. The people boiling in the fire of inflation came on the roads to paralyze the government and all its apparatus to demonstrate the strength of the masses opposed to the government policies. The country came to a halt. Working class people  withdrew from all the work places. Banking industry came to a grinding halt. The government must be paralyzed. This is the only way to resist the aggression of the Government and win the demands for the benefit of the people. The strength of unity that provides an opportunity must be utilized to covert the crisis into a new wave of resistance.

--Naresh Gaur   2 days nationwide continuous general strike 

Strike call by 11 Central Trade Unions

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 4:30 PM
The protestors included large number of women

Peoples power at Ludhiana.....................................Photo by Rector Kathuria

Ludhiana(Rector Kathuria); On a call given by the 11 Central Trade Unions and various independent federations, unions and associations, the workers affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), INTUC, BMS, CTU, TUCC and CITU observed strike today in their respective industries and other institutions. Thereafter they gathered at Bus stand and organized a massive protest rally in support of their demands. The unions of workers of Punjab Roadways and PRTC  had already struck work and so there was a total Chakka Jam at the bus stand since 12.00 midnight.
The protestors included large number of women, construction workers, industrial workers, Public health workers,  contractual workers, Corporation workers, University employees, private hospital employees, roadways  and others sections of workers and employees. Todays’s protesat rally  was presided over by Com Om Parkash Mehta - AITUC, Com Jatinder Pal Singh of CITU and  Shri Swaran Singh of INTUC, Com Paramjeet Singh of CTU, Sh Nageshwar Singh of BMS, Shri Sham Narain Yadav of TUCC . Speaking on the occasion state leaders Com Bant Brar – General Secretary AITUC Punjab, Com Raghunath Singh, General Secretary of CITU Punjab,  Com Paramjeet Singh of CTU, Sh. Swaran Singh- President INTUC Punjab, Hari singh Sahni-TUCC  demanded minimum wages to be fixed by the Punjab Govt. @ for unskilled workers Rs 10,000, Semi Skilled 15,000, Skilled workers 20,000 per month, end to contractual and out sourcing and filling up of all govt. and semi govt. posts on regular basis, to disband the new pension policy effective from 1.1.2004 and implement the same old pension scheme on all employees.  They cited low wages in the state as major reason for the shortage of labour in the state. They demanded all anti worker acts recently promulgated by the Punjab government to be withdrawn with immediate effect. The speakers said that the labour laws in the state are being flouted by both public and private sector with impunity. The contractual workers in both the sectors be regularized hence forth.  These must be implemented in letter and spirit. They deplored that under the process of so called globalization and privatization at the diktat of the world bank and International Monetary Fund ,  the economic policies of both central and state governments there has been accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, while vast majority is suffering under acute poverty and unemployment. Latest reports have indicated that 100 top rich families in India own assets to the tune of 16 lakh crores of rupees where as 70% are forced to live on meager spending of Rs. 16.60  per day.  Speaking on the occasion Com. Tarsem Jodhan, Com D P Maur, Com Ram Lal, Jagdish Chand and Gurjeet Singh Jagpal, Gulzar Singh Gorea opposed FDI in banks, LIC and retail as this will hit the job situation hard for the employees and also the production in the small scale sector. They also demanded  regular jobs and equal wages for ASHA, Aanganwadi and mid day meal workers. They warned that if the govt. does not change its economic policies benefitting the rich and the corporate sector, then more militant agitations   are on the anvil. Others who addressed include Com Bhagirath Paliwal, Suresh Sood, Gurnam Gill, Laddoo shah, Haniuman Prasad Dubey, Samar Bahadur, Gurnam Sidhu, Kameshwar Yadav, Sarbjit Singh Sarhali, Manjeet Singh Buta, Charan Dass, Amarnath Kumkalan, S K Tiwari and Rajesh Kumar Sharma

Dr.Asok Samanta on illegal regime changes

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 10:36 PM
US imperialism involved directly and indirectly
The President,

(People round the world must rise up to build powerful organized well-coordinated anti-imperialist movement to stop the murderous run of world imperialism led by US imperialism)

Dear Sir,
As you know, we are passing through a time when in the absence of mighty socialist camp led by the USSR, the imperialists-capitalists headed by US imperialists, unable to come out of the insoluble crisis they are ridden with, are on a rampage, pursuing their hegemonistic aspirations, overlordism and brigandage with impunity. Alongside military invasion and illegal occupation of others’ territories, they are now conducting their loot and plunder through neo-colonial route of exporting finance capital and ruling either by installing a puppet government or by forcing the governments of the weaker nations to be pliant with and subjugated to their dictates . They are also causing economic blockade or resorting to escalated violence to circumscribe the weaker nations. For more than six decades now, US imperialism in particular has been directly and indirectly involved in all types of illegal regime changes employing assassinations, bombings, sabotage, terrorism, electoral fraud and such other black means. Whenever the US imperialists can no longer use and abuse a peripheral country, they first attempt to employ open (or white) measures (diplomatic, political, economic, military, etc.) to force a necessary change in the national political leadership of the target state. However, when they fail to attain this objective using “white” or overt actions then, they do not hesitate to initiate, conduct and pursue “black reconnaissance” actions against its perceived and identified enemy targets, or threats to its global strategic interests. Black reconnaissance actions are primarily hidden in the dark and kept from the public, secret and clandestine in nature. They are almost always illegal and violate accepted international principles and norms. Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Haiti, have all borne the brunt with variance in degree. Somalia has been victim of the US imperialism-designed “nation building process” and ‘‘kind of humanitarian mission”. The NATO air raid in Kosovo, undertaken without the authorization of the Security Council and largely by using US forces to save the victims of so called ‘ethnic cleansing’ by President Slobodan Milosevic was soon  proved  to  be  a  step  towards fragmenting the Balkan states and deepening  imperialist  strangulation. 
For last three decades, the US imperialists along with their allies like Zionist Israel and British imperialismhave targeted West Asia obviously with a view to having total control of the rich oil fields. USA and its imperialist allies invaded and occupied Iraq on a completely trumped-up charge of possession of weapons of mass destruction. After the occupation of Iraq, USA has tried to keep its stranglehold on the country by installing a puppet regime on the one hand and by instigating ethnic strifes and violent conflicts between religious communities on the other. On the dark pages of human history which record the worst instances of naked aggression of big powers over smaller nations, Afghanistan has been a recent hapless inclusion. The war-monger US imperialists, the chieftain of the world capitalist- imperialist forces, have pounced upon this poor country with such venom and cruelty and have brought about such murderous devastation of human life and property, that have shocked and worried the peace –loving people of the entire world, not to speak of their inflicting unfathomable sufferings upon the Afghan people themselves.Having established control over Iraq and Afghanistan, USA is now turning its attention to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Central to US strategy in Middle East is unqualified support to Zionist Israel and to set it up as a bulwark against the surging tide of nationalism and anti-imperialism in the Arab countries; side by side, the US is lending support to the autocratic, tyrannical and despotic rulers in the Arab countries who perpetrate the most ruthless repression on the people, but protect the US interests.For a long time, US imperialists have been using Israel in subduing the most legitimate and just demand of homeland of the Palestine people. In Libya and Syria they are fomenting troubles through agent provocateurs. They are setting up their agents to destabilize the governments through violent armed actions under the cloak of ‘fighting for democracy’.  In the name of providing humanitarian aid to the people under attack from Muammar Gaddafi’s government in Libya, and giving logistic assistance to the forces fighting Gaddafi they, under NATO banner, US imperialists launched a full-scale air-war on Libya and savagely assassinated Gaddafi with the help of so called National Transitional Council (NTC), an organization propped up and backed by the agents of reaction with the blessings of US imperialism and its associates. Alongside a direct armed assault and creating ‘fifth columnists’ inside Libya, the US imperialists also pressed into action the International Criminal Court (ICC) which is increasingly being used as a tool by the Pentagon and Western imperialist powers in their bid to establish direct control over the  huge natural resources of Africa and West Asia.After having demolished Libya, the US imperialists and their allies have now chosen Syria. The present turmoil of Syria was perpetrated and monitored by none other than the US imperialists, towing their allies behind them. It is revealed in the media that just like Iraq and Libya, $6 million was handed out to Syrian groups aligned with US imperialism by the Bush administration after 2006 with a view to ensuring fall of the incumbent Syrian government. Lebanon is also on the radar of the US imperialists. Just the other day, Zionist Israel bombed the territories of Syria. So is Iran who along with socialist North Korea and Cuba has been included by the US rulers in their “axis of evils”. It is reported in The New York Times that US is carrying out secret military and air strikes in Yemen. Sudan, the oil-rich mineral-rich East African country is now a prime target of the US imperialists. 
This is how the imperialist web now extends over the entire globe. How could the imperialist powers particularly the US imperialists be so unbridled in their pursuit of international gangsterism and hegemonism? The answer lies in the qualitative change in the international correlation of forces following sad dismantling of mighty socialist camp due to revisionist conspiracy aided and abetted by capitalist-imperialist powers. So long the socialist camp existed, it, notwithstanding certain limitations and shortcomings, worked as a bulwark of anti-imperialism and peace. Had the bipolar world existed, the US imperialists and their allies would not have the nerve to undertake such dastardly activities with alacrity, unleash a reign of terror round the globe and openly threat the countries or political personalities not seeing eye to eye with them of dire consequences. Cowardly acts like summarily executing political opponents openly and boastfully would not have been that easy and go unchallenged. One would have observed that since collapse of the USSR and Eastern European socialist states in 1989-1991, US imperialists have launched five wars of invasion — in Iraq twice, in Yugoslavia in 1999, in Afghanistan in 2001, and now in Libya.It is pertinent to mention that Indian capitalism has also assumed imperialist character, given rise to a financial oligarchy by merger of industrial capital with banking capital and is exporting finance capital abroad to exploit cheap labour and raw material. Thus, the Indian monopolists have become junior partners of world imperialism and in order to fulfil their aspiration to become a formidable power in central and south Asia, they are increasing tilting towards the US camp, entering into nuclear treaty with them, undertaking joint military exercises and backing US design to target Iran, North Korea and other regimes opposed to US imperialism.
But the freedom-loving people of the world cannot remain a mute spectator to this overlordism, brigandage and gangsterism of the world imperialist powers headed by US imperialism nor should they be duped by the incessant imperialist propaganda. The imperialist sharks will be unbridled in their tyranny if there is no organized people’s resistance against all their felonious acts. Just as they did in Libya, the US imperialists and their allies will sneak into every country under this or that pretext, implement their nefarious designs, pit one section of the people against another fomenting divisiveness centring on religion, ethnicity or such other count to buttress their heinous agenda, overpower countries not falling in line with them by unleashing military attack and plotting killing of political opponents. One after another country would fall to such imperialist machination spelling doom to mankind.When the US imperialists and their associates are merrily indulging in all kinds of criminal acts and trying to cover them with panoply of cooked up alibis and charade of ‘restoring democracy’, the obvious question people should ask is who are they to determine what kind of rule would prevail in any other country? It is the exclusive preserve of the people of a country to decide what nature of governance they would like to have. Even if rulers of a country perpetrate genocide, it is upto the people there to develop powerful democratic movement or if the situation so warrants, a strong resistance movement to dissuade or dislodge the incumbent repressive regime. Democratic minded people of the world can also develop strong international public opinion against such crimes and extend moral support to such movement so as to create pressure on the culprit regime for stopping the ghastly activities. There are international diplomatic codes, existence of international bodies like International Court of Justice or even UNO, notwithstanding considerable dilution in their roles and their sickening obedience to the wishes of the US imperialists and their allies, to look after such matters. What is the propriety of the US imperialists and their cohorts to arrogate to themselves the power of functioning as international gendarme and nakedly meddle into the internal affairs of any country and that too by moving armed troops? If such be the case, what would be the fate of the lofty concepts of freedom, sovereignty, territorial integrity and independent state then? Is it to be assumed then that all these concepts are slated to vanish into thin air because the US imperialists have now emerged as a superlord by dint of their brute military might and hence ordained to write a new doctrine of democracy which is tantamount to meek unquestioned surrender to their sermons and fiats? If any ruler of any country does anything wrong, runs an autocratic regime, it is up to the people of that country to decide how he should be dealt with, what punishment should be meted out to him. History will judge his actions. Same is the case with Libya. Wherefrom do the US imperialists and their cohorts who in their own countries are brutally suppressing democratic movements, muffling voice of dissent and practising fascist dictatorship under the garb of parliamentary democracy, flouting and disobeying all democratic norms, codes and practices, derive the authority to militarily intervene in Libya or Iraq and engineer a regime change by murdering Gaddafi and Saddam? 
We are to keep in mind that what these imperialist despots fear most is the united conscious people’s movement. People must act and act decisively. True, in the situation obtaining, people apparently seem to be having no weapon to halt the murderous run of the imperialist sharks, to thwart the sinister imperialist machination of “humanitarian intervention with daggers drawn” or “trigger-happy export of democracy”. But that weapon has to be developed in right earnest, the invincible weapon of asserting of people’s power in right form. Of late, there have been spontaneous upheavals of people against pro-imperialist regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. Undeterred by the bullets and brutality of the autocratic regime and defying the long-continuing repressions that they have dreaded so far, lakhs of oppressed Egyptians from all sections of the society including women congregated at the Tahrir Square of Cairo and other parts of the country in the last week of January, 2011 to demand an end to thirty long years of President Hosni Mubarak’s most oppressive rule, fully backed, geared and protected by the army, and restoration of democracy. This spontaneous militant people’s protest which spread like wildfire across the country and virtually assumed the character of a mass uprising was greeted throughout the world as “Arab spring’. Such people’s protest agitations ought to surge forth in other countries of West Asia and Africa where dictatorial rules are in operation, the surging people’s protests have not crystallized in that manner. Most importantly, in order to lead all these protest agitations to their logical culmination, it is essential that the toiling people overcome all hurdles and hassles to close their ranks and develop well-organized powerful movements along the right track, build their own instruments of struggle right from the grassroots level rising above all differences and divisions and give birth through struggle to appropriate revolutionary leadership to spur them on to accomplish the goal. Simultaneously, a mighty militant global people’s movement needs to be developed against imperialism, particularly US imperialism by coordinating the anti-imperialist movements in the different countries and involving all anti-imperialist forces. Any attack on any country must be considered by the people of fellow countries as an attack on all of them by the US imperialists.  Hence, it should be incumbent on the anti-war peace-loving democratic minded patriotic people of all countries to rise up against any such attack, resist and repel with all might.  In other words, it would just not be an expression of solidarity but beyond that--unleashing action spurned by a sense of oneness.  The enemy would know that if it targets one particular country, the people of the entire region would retaliate and strike back.  If such co-ordination and fraternity among the fighting people of Latin America could be developed, it would not only give fillip to the democratic movements in each country but would also enfeeble the enemy to a great extent. And it is also of immense importance to understand that unless the various anti-imperialist people’s struggles grow and develop under correct revolutionary leadership, they will not be led to their logical culmination and might either be aborted midway or end in a half-baked and truncated way and the imperialist conspirators, sly and wicked to the bone, would cunningly exploit the accumulated grievances of the people in those lands for implementing their ‘humanitarian mission” of “planting democracy” through imbedded “agents” shored up as “pro-democracy” fighters. This alone can resist the marauding acts of imperialism, and save the world from this scourge of imperialist terror and oppression. We call upon all anti-imperialist peace-loving people to come forward and shoulder the task of releasing the desired people’s movement to thwart imperialist prowl with due expediency. 

With struggling greetings
Dr. Asok Samanta
Vice-President, Medical Service Centre
Member of All India Anti-Imperialist Forum
14th Feb. 2013

Dr.Asok Samanta on illegal regime changes

A letter by Dr. Asok Samanta                           Nationwide strike on 2nd day at Ludhiana

In all illegal regime changes....                       Bank Unions hold a massive rally


Economic policies benefiting the rich                                          The Communist Manifesto

Communist Song l Che'Guevara                                  Strike call by 11 Central Trade Unions