‘DHARNA’ IN CHENNAI PRECEDING THE TWO - DAY STRIKE ACTION
As a forerunner to the two-day strike on February 20 and 21, 2013 by the entire trade union movement of the country including the insurance employees against the anti-people and anti-worker policies of the Govt. of India heaping untold miseries on the nation’s population, a ‘Dharna’ programme was organised in front of the LIC Building, Chennai, by the ICEU, Chennai Division-I, from 2-00 PM to 5 PM on February 16, 2013. The meeting as part of the programme was presided over by Com.G.Jayaraman, President, ICEU, Chennai Division-I. The leaders including Com.N.M.Sundaram, former President of AIIEA and the gathering of employees present were welcomed by Com.S.Rameshkumar, General Secretary, ICEU, Chennai Division-I
Greeting the participants, Com. K.Swaminathan, General Secretary, South Zone Insurance Employees’ Federation, dealt with a wide variety of ills afflicting the nation due to the neo-liberal policies being ruthlessly implemented by the ruling coalition at the Centre. As far as the insurance and banking sectors are concerned, he recalled the days when these two vital sectors were in the hands of private big business magnets who indulged in all sorts of frauds forcing the Government of India to nationalise these sectors. The Government is now determined to entrust these sectors in the hands of the same private entities despite the finance and insurance companies totally collapsing in the USA. He said that the Global Trust Bank, inaugurated by the Prime Minister when he was the Finance Minister of the country, was nowhere to be seen in the country.
Com.A.Soundararajan, CPI (M) MLA and General Secretary of the Tamil Nadu State CITU, blasted the policies of the Government, which had resulted in pauperisation of the country. He ridiculed the claim of the rulers that the country had achieved growth in employment and said that in the southern part of the country although it was claimed that two lakh new jobs had been created, not even 25% were permanent jobs and the salaries paid were very low. The rest of the jobs were on temporary, part time and contract basis. He also made it known that even though the labour laws are not being enforced making it difficult to organise trade unions in newly formed industries, the CITU had succeeded in forming unions in several industries in Tamil Nadu.
The ‘Dharna’ programme, participated by a huge number of men and women comrades, came to a close with the vote of thanks proposed by Com. C.M.Kumar, Vice-President, ICEU, Chennai Division-I. A note-worthy feature of the whole programme was the presence of a large number of representatives of print and electronic media who interviewed the leaders and helped to give wide coverage for the issues involved in the two-day strike action.