Working Class
May Day 2013

The May Day 2013 was celebrated by All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) with the pledge of taking forward the spirit generated in the 20-21 February unprecedented all India general strike and continue the fight for the reversal of neoliberal policies in the country.

The 28th May Day this year was observed in Assam as a day opposing the heinous murder of comrade Gangaram Koul in Borgong, Sonitpur, Guwahati, Jorhat Silchar, Nagoan, Dibrugarh and other places. In Tinsukia, braving a heavy downpour, about 1000 workers from tea gardens took part enthusiastically in the procession covering about 4 kilometres and passing through the main thoroughfare of the town shouting slogans demanding the arrest the killers of Com. Gangaram Koul, time bound CBI probe to be completed in 6 months, against price rice and rampant corruption, increase of the tea workers’ daily wage to Rs. 200, calculate bonus on the total sum of daily wage plus subsidised cost of ration and fuel as per clause 22(2) of the Bonus Act, 1965.

In Tamil Nadu, May Day was celebrated with flag hoisting in 150 centers with a participation of more than 2000 workers. In Coimbatore, it was a dream come true for Pricol workers when they hoisted their union flag in the factory gate in the morning with hundreds of workers raising slogans for workers’ unity. Comrade S.Kumarasami hoisted the flag and in the evening a public meeting was held in which 700 workers from Pricol, Shanthi Gears, Lakshmi Motor Works (LMW) participated. AICCTU in TN has taken up a solidarity campaign for Maruti workers which includes a solidarity fund for the Maruti workers. AICCTU has released 6000 pamphlets with the ‘Letter From Jail’ of Maruti workers and called for the workers of TN to rise in solidarity for them. ‘Letter From Jail’ is also published in Orumaipadu (Tamil Solidarity) which has a circulation of 5000 copies. Co-optex Employees Union also participated. A solidarity fund was collected to help Maruti workers. In the May Day a public meeting held in Coimbatore Rs.24000 was collected from among the participants.

In Punjab, May Day was celebrated in Punjab at Batala, Chandigarh, Mansa, Himmatpura (Moga) and Tapa (Barnala). In Batala, a march of nearly 700 workers was taken out in main market of Batala, in the leadership of Com Gurmeet Bakhtpura, Com Sukhdev, and Com Guljar. In the march, brick-kiln workers, who are on strike for their demands, participated in large numbers. In Chandigarh, a program was organized by AICCTU and CPI(ML). Revolutionary songs and a play on women’s rights by a theatre team of Chandigarh were also performed.

In Odisha, May Day was observed at Nagbhushan Bhavan in Bhubaneswar where 150 workers from different unions came together. A public meeting was conducted at Nagbhushan Bhavan where Comrade Khitish Biswal, secretary of CPI (ML) Liberation and AICCTU state secretary Mahendra Parida addressed the gathering. May Day was also observed in Sambalpur where 2000 construction workers participated in a big rally.

In Delhi-NCR, Central TUs held a procession jointly from Ramlila Grounds, and workers observed May Day in several areas. AICCTU held May Day processions and public meetings at Wazirpur and at NOIDA. At NOIDA, May Day 2013 had a special significance, since it was held in the wake of the wholesale arrest of workers and TU activists, defying the attempts of police to intimidate the workers. A leaflet against state repression, calling for May Day, had been widely distributed in the area in the preceding days. AICCTU and CPIML activists from NOIDA and Delhi held a march from the AICCTU office. In spite of the forbidding presence of the armed police, a public meeting was held following the march, which was addressed by many CPI(ML) and AICCTU leaders.

In Jharkhand, flags were hoisted in the entire coal belt and mass meetings took place against the ongoing loot and scams and privatization of coal industry. In Bokaro Steel Plant, the flag was hoisted and a public meeting was held. Rallies of unorganized workers and women workers working on an honorarium in various government schemes were held throughout the state including the capital Ranchi.

In Bihar, May Day rallies, demonstrations and flag hoisting progammes were held in most of the districts including Patna with the participation of thousands of unorganized workers. In Patna a joint rally was held.

In UP and Uttarakhand all affiliated unions in different districts with participation of unorganized workers held progammes. AICCTU-affiliated unions held a procession in Allahabad and submitted a memorandum to the Collector. In Uttarakhand, joint rally of workers was held in Rudrapur, an Auto Hub. In most of the districts including Haldwani and Pithoragarh joint programmes were held.

At Gujarat, a rally was held by AICCTU in Himmat Nagar with participation of hundreds of unorganized workers. In Mumbai, a joint mass meeting of trade unions was held at Azad Maidan. In Bhilai a workers’ meeting was held in Bhilai Steel Plant and also a meeting of municipal contract sanitation workers.

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