07/11/SH NEWS

Upgradation of Grade Pay of LDC/UDC: Date of next hearing is 19/07/2018. The date of next hearing on the SLP filed against MACP on promotional hierarchy in Supreme Court is 30/07/2018

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Saturday, December 30, 2017


2017 - OUR EXPERIENCE & 2018 - OUR PLEDGE
TRUST OF EMPLOYEES AND PENSIONERS RETRAYED
AND THEIR HOPES ENDED IN DESPAIR
“THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO THE STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE”
M. Krishnan

Secretary General, Confederation
                   Seventh Central Pay Commission Chairman, Justice (Retired) Ashok Kumar Mathur in his foreword to 7th CPC Report has quoted the following lines in the case of Bhupendra Nath Hazarika and another Versus State of Assam & others wherein the Supreme Court of India has observed as follows:
                   “It should always be borne in mind that legitimate aspirations of the employees are not guillotined and a situation is not created where hopes end in despair.  Hope for every one is gloriously precious and that a model employer should not convert it to be deceitful and treacherous.....  A sense of calm sensibility and concerned sincerity should be reflected at every step.  An atmosphere of trust has to prevail and when the employees are absolutely sure that their trust shall not be betrayed and they shall be treated with dignified fairness, then only the concept of good governance can be concretized.  We say no more.”
                   We don’t know whether the powers-that-be at the helm of affairs of the Central Government has ever read the above observations of the Apex Court quoted by 7th CPC.  Fact remains - BJP-led NDA Government has guillotined the legitimate aspirations of the Central Government employees and pensioners and created a situation wherein their gloriously precious hopes ended in despair.  The Government converted their hopes to be deceitful and treacherous.  The stand taken by the Government is devoid of calm sensibility and concerned sincerity.  Trust of the 32 lakhs employees and 33 lakhs pensioners is betrayed and their expectations of fair treatment from Government has been proved wrong.
Who gave the hopes and who betrayed:
                   In the wake of indefinite strike call given by National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) of Central Govt. Employees from 11th July 2016, in the crucial meeting held in the night of 30th June 2016, solemn assurance was given by none other than the topmost Cabinet Ministers of NDA Government Sri. Rajnath Singh, Home Minister, Sri. Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Shri. Suresh Prabhu, then Railway Minister.  It was told that Hon’ble Prime Minister Sri. Narendra Modiji has directed the group of Ministers to hold discussion with NJCA leaders.  Group of Ministers gave categorical assurance that minimum pay and fitment formula will be increased and for that purpose a High Level Committee will be constituted.  Again on 6th July 2016 Sri. Rajnath Singh, Home Minister, reiterated the assurance and Finance Ministry issued a press statement confirming the assurance.  Leaders and employees trusted the words of the Senior Cabinet Ministers.  Eighteen (18) months are over.  No High Level Committee is constituted.  No hike in minimum pay and fitment formula is granted.
Delaying tactics and then denial:
                   From the very begining of coming to power, the NDA Govt. has adopted a tactics of “delay and then deny” the legitimate aspirations of the Central Govt. Employees and Pensioners.  Pay Commission was granted four months extension.  Empowered Committee took seven months and pay scales were implemented without any change after seven months delay from the date of submission of 7th CPC report. Allowance Committee took one year and finally arrears of HRA and other allowances for eighteen months are denied.  Pension Option-I Committee was appointed to deny the one and the only favourable recommendations of the 7th CPC for Pensioners.  NPS Committee made it clear that withdrawl of NPS or guaranteeing minimum pension (50% of the last pay drawn) are not under its purview.  Anomaly Committee informed the JCM Staff side that 80% of the items submitted by staff side including increase in minimum pay and fitment formula will not constitute an anomaly and hence will not come under the purview of the Anomaly Committee.  Regarding implementation of the positive recommendations of Kamalesh Chandra Committee on Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) also almost eleven (11) months are over after the submission of the report to Govt. on 24-11-2016.  The brutal exploitation of casual and contract workers is increasing day by day.  Eventhough Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP) is not regular promotion, instead of seniority-cum-fitness Government imposed more stringent conditions to deny the promotions to thousands of employees.
Wage, Job, Social Security and Trade Union rights under attack:
                   Not only the legitimate pay and allowances of the Central Govt. employees are denied, their job security is also under attack due to the neo-liberal policies pursued aggressively by the NDA Government. Many work done by Railway Employees are outsourced and privatised and now leasing out of Railway stations and Railway Land to private corporates under PPP model is under progress. Decision has been taken by Government to outsource and privatise Defence production and related activities like Research, Maintenance and services etc. and to permit 100% FDI in Defence industry.  200 products being manufactured by the Ordinance factories are ordered to be handed over to private corporates.  Small Svings Schemes which was the monopoly of the Postal Department is outsourced to private banks and orders for outsorucing of booking and delivery of registered and speed post article is also issued.  Out of 17 Govt. of India Printing Presses 12 presses are ordered to be closed as per Cabinet decision.  Many other small departments are also facing the attack of outsourcing, privatisation and closure.
                   Orders are issued by Govt. threatening serious disciplinary action against employees who participate in dharnas, demonstrations and strikes.  JCM National Council meeting was not held for the last seven years.  Most of the Departmental Councils are not functioning. Chief Executives of recognised Associations are harassed and vindictively transferred and recognition and trade union facilities to the Associations are withdrawn.  Results of the membership verification under the Recognition Rules are not being declared and even verification process under check-off system is stopped half-way.
                   NPS has become “No-Pension System” as many of the employees who retired after 10 to 12 years are getting monthly annuity pension (from  Insurance Company) less than Rs.2,000/- only whereas the minimum pension for 10 years service under the old pension scheme is now Rs.9,000/-.  Government is not ready to heed the demand of the staff side to withdraw Contributory Pension Scheme and guarantee minimum pension (50% of the last pay drawn) to all under Contributory Pension Scheme.  The observations of the 7th CPC that - “almost the whole lot of Government employees appointed on or after 01-01-2004 are unhappy with the New Pension System.  Government should take a call and look into their grievances”remains in paper.  Thus the social security of the employees is facing greatest threat from Government.
‘Tough time never last, but tough people do’
                   No doubt the entire working class along with Central Government employees are passing through a tough period.  Their life and livelihood are under attack.  And at the same time resistance movement against the policy offensives are gaining momentum.  Entire Trade Unions (barring BMS) has organised three days “Maha Dharna” at New Delhi in which lakhs of workers participated.  BMS was also compelled to organise a separate protest programme against the retrogade policies of the Narendra Modi Government.  Central Government employees under the banner of Confederation conducted series of agitational programmes like Parliament March, One day strike, Mass dharna in front of Finance Minister’s Office, Human Chain, Burning of HRA Orders, District level dharnas, State level dharnas etc. demanding settlement of  21 point charter of demands submitted  to Government.  Coming days will witness more sectoral struggles and joint struggles leading to indefinite strike.
No alternative for struggle:
                   Thus the struggles of the Working Class which was hitherto defensive in nature, is becoming more and more offensive.  We have to intensify our struggle during 2018 for our survival.  Let us remember and tell our friends in the Central Govt. Employees movement who are waiting peacefully and endesslyhoping for justice from NDA Government -
                   “Organise if you want real living wages, organise if you want to have your working hours reduced, organise if you desire better treatment from your superior officers, organise if you want that the authorities should consult and consider your opinion on all administrative measures affecting you. Petitions, memorandums and supplications will count for nothing, so long as you do not organise yourselves in a manner to convice the Government that you will no longer stand nonsense.”
                   Let us march forward with full commitment and determination. 
                   Ultimate victory shall be ours.
If  it weren’t for the Union
Our union’s story is there to be seen,
We’ve won many victories and we’ve suffered defeats,
But as I turn through the pages and look back through time,
There’s one single question stands out in my mind -
Today we may prosper, today we live free,
But if it weren’t for the union, where would we be?

From it’s humble beginnings our union has grown,
So no working person need struggle alone.
But no gain that’s been made has been made without cost,
And together we’ll see that no gain’s ever lost;
Take a look at those countries where workers aren’t free-
If it weren’t for the union, where would we be?

Would you choose to go back, working twelve hours a day,
Would you choose to toil more and a pittance be paid?
Will you stand in the union against the new right,
or do you think on your own you can withstand their might?
The answer is written in our history,
If it weren’t for the union, where would we be?

They say we’ve got problems, and the unions they blame,
Well, Franco and Pinochet they said the same.
If our union they weaken, if our union they break,
Then where’s our defence from becoming enslaved?
So would you choose bondage above liberty?
And if it weren’t for the union, where would we be?

It’s our union, our union that defends our rights,
But our union is as strong as our will is to fight,
For the union is you and the union is me,
So stand up and stand by our union.
                                                 - Peter Hicks and Geoff Francis.

TRADE UNION RIGHTS UNDER ATTACK
WE WILL NOT SURRENDER OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT
                                                                                   M. Krishnan
                                                                                   Secretary General, Confederation.
Right to peaceful protest is a constitutional right and right to assemble and demonstrate by holding dharnas is the basic features of an effective democratic system.
                   Article 19 of the Indian Constitution is one of the most important article constituting the “basic feedoms” guaranteed to every citizen of India.  Article 19(1) provides that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, associations, movement, residence and practicing any trade, business, occupation or profession.  Article 19(1)(b) guarantees to all citizens of India, rights to “assemble peacefully and without arms”.  This right includes the right to hold meetings and take out processions.  Of course, assembly must be peaceful, harmonious,unarmed and not threatening the safety of the people. Reasonable restrictions can be imposed under clause(3) of Article 19.
                   The right to assembly embodies the very idea of a democratic system.  Article 9 (1)(b) thus includes the right to hold meetings and to take out  processions.  It has been reviewed, studied and interpreted numerous times by the Supreme Court.  In its judgements Supreme Court has upheld the right to peaceful protest as a constitutional right and the right to assemble and demonstrate by holding dharnas is the basic feature of democratic system.  People in a democracy have a right to raise their voices against the decisions and unreasonable actions of the Government or to express their opinion in any subject of national importance.  The Government is obliged to respect and encourage the exercise of such rights.

                   This being the position, the political powers have resorted to the use of authoritation powers to stop the Central Government employees from exercising their constitutional right of conducting peaceful dharnas and demonstrations on 19-09-2017 and 17-10-2017 under the banner of Confederation of Central Govt. Employees & Workers.  By conducting the programmes on 19-09-2017 and 17-10-2017 in a massive manner throughout the country, defying the Govt. orders, Confederation has upheld the constitutional right enshrined in the Constitution of India.

 No. Conf/NS/2016-19                                                                              Dated - 27-12-2017

NOTICE FOR  THE NATIONAL SECRETARIAT MEETING
24-01-2018-NEW DELHI
                    As  already informed to all concerned, the National Secretariat meeting of the Confederation of Central Government Employees & Workers will be held at NFPE Office, Ist Floor, North Avenue Post office building, New Delhi on 24th January 2018 (Wednesday) at 10.AM to 01.30 PM.  All National Secretariat Members (Office bearers) of Confederation are requested to attend the meeting in time. The following shall be the agenda of the meeting.
1.      Organisational Review
2.      Confederation Charter of demands and future course of action.
3.      All India Women’s Trade Union Workshop-Date and Venue.
4.      NPS and Outsourcing - Joint struggle programmes of Confederation and AISGEF.
5.      Problems of affiliates of Confederation.
6.      Financial review
7.      Any other items with permission of the chair.

              Yours Fraternally,

                                                                                                M.KRISHNAN
                                                                                                Secretary General


Copy to: 1.     All National Secretariat Members (Office bearers including office bearers of women’s sub committee)

REVISION OF INTEREST RATES FOR SMALL SAVINGS SCHEMES. 
(Click here to the View)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

CLASSIFICATION ON FAMILY PENSION ADMISSIBLE TO NPS EMPLOYEES

SEVENTH CENTRAL PAY COMMISSION’S RECOMMENDATIONS — REVISION OF PAY SCALES — AMENDMENT OR SERVICE RULES/RECRUITMENT RULES.
F.No.AB-14017/13/2016-Estt.(RR)
Government of India
Ministry Of Personnel, Public Grievances and pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
Estt.-RR Division
North Block, New Delhi
Dated: 22nd December, 2017

MEMORANDUM

Sub: Seventh Central pay Commission’s recommendations — revision of pay scales — amendment or Service Rules/Recruitment Rules.

            The undersigned is directed to refer to this Department’s 0M or even number dated 9th August. 2016 the subject mentioned above wherein it was requested that as per the CCS (Revised pay) Rules, 2016 issued by Department or Expenditure vide Notification dated 25th July, 2016, consequential amendment in the existing Service Rules.’ Recruitment Rules shall be made by the Ministries/Departments by substituting the existing pay Band and Grade pay by the new pay “LEVEL in the PAY MATRIX” straightaway without making a reference 10 the Department of Personnel and Training Public Service Commission (UPSC).

2. Further, DoP&T vide of even number dated 16.02.2017 sought information with regard to implementation of 0M dated 09.08,2016. The issue is being monitored by higher authorities: however, so far this Department has nol received any information from Ministries/Departments even a lapse of over a year. It has been decided to hold a meeting, under the Championship or JS (E), with all Ministries/Departments on 04.01.2018 in Room No.190, North Block, New Delhi.

3. All Ministries/Departments are requested to furnish a status report regarding amendment Of Recruitment Rules in pursuance of DoP&T 0M dated 09/08/2016 in the annexure-Il enclosed herewith. The schedule or the meeting is as per Annexure-I.
sd/-
(Shukdeo Sah)
Under Secretary (RR-II)



STREAMLINE THE TREATMENT OF CGHS AND OTHER CENTRAL GOVT BENEFICIARIES FROM CGHS EMPANELLED HOSPITALS.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

STRUGGLE COMMITTEE OF DEFENCE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES
TO SAVE THE DEFENCE INDUSTRY

INCOME TAX EXEMPTIONS (Click here to the view)

OPTION FOR SWITCH OVER TO THE NEXT INCREMENT IS REVISED PAY STRUCTURE
FINANCIAL RESOLUTION AND DEPOSIT INSURANCE BILL 2017.(Click Here to the View)
JCM STAFF SIDE LETTER TO ANOMALY COMMITTEE

Click here to view - Letter
POSTAL GDS COMMITTEE PAY SCALES AND ALLOWANCES CLEARED BY FINANCE MINISTRY. NOW CABINET APPROVAL REQUIRED. DETAILS WILL FOLLOW:

    R.N. Parashar                      P Panduranga Rao
Secretary General                  General Secretary
       NFPE                                       AIPEU-GDS
RE-ENGAGEMENT OF RETIRED EMPLOYEES IN EXIGENCIES OF SERVICES.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

CBDT EXTENDS DATE FOR LINKING OF AADHAAR WITH PAN(Click here to the view)

IMPORTANT SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT – MACP SHOULD BE GIVEN EFFECT FROM 01-01-2006. (But it will affect negatively to the employees of subordinate offices,  unless a positive ruling from Supreme court in the case of Shri MV Mohanan Nair-TKR Pillai)


Click here to the view

STEPS TO UPDATE MOBILE NUMBER, E-MAIL, AADHAAR NUMBERS IN CGHS DATABASE (Click here to the View)
NATIONAL ANOMALY COMMITTEE

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Regarding tests/investigations at private hospitals/diagnostic laboratories/imaging centres empanelled under CGHS/CS(MA) Rules.

Click here to view orders
FIXATION OF PAY OF RE-EMPLOYED EX-SERVICEMEN -- GOVT'S NEW PROPOSAL. 

Click here to the View
REVISED CGHS RATES AND GUIDELINES FOR REIMBURSEMENT SETTLEMENT OF AYURVEDIC TREATMENT EXPENDITURE CLAIMS UNDER CGHS-2017  ( RELEASE DATE :04/12/2017 )  (Click the link below to view)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

CONFEDERATION NATIONAL SECRETARIAT MEETING ON 24THJANUARY 10 AM AT NEW DELHI.

            TO ALL NS MEMBERS.= MEETING OF THE NATIONAL SECRETARIAT OF CONFEDERATION WILL BE HELD ON 24TH JANUARY 2018 WEDNESDAY AT 10 AM AT NFPE OFFICE (NORTH AVENUE) NEW DELHI . ALL NATIONAL SECRETARIAT MEMBERS (OFFICE BEARERS) ARE REQUESTED TO ATTEND THE MEETING AT 10 AM ITSELF .

            AGENDA – ORGANIZATIONAL REVIEW ETC. DETAILED NOTICE WILL FOLLOW. = M.KRISHNAN SG CONFEDERATION
GUIDELINES ON PROCESS TO BE FOLLOWED BY SUBSCRIBERS AND NODAL OFFICE/POP/AGGREGATOR FOR PROCESSING OF PARTIAL WITHDRAWAL REQUEST.

RENTENTION OF GENERAL POOL RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION AT LAST PLACE OF POSTING ON TRANSFER TO A NON-FAMILY STATION
(Click here to the View)
IMPORTANT SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT -- WITH EFFECT FROM 10.02.1995 RESERVATION IN  PROMOTIONS SHOULD BE ROSTER POINT BASED (TOTAL NUMBER OF POSTS SHOULD BE THE BASIS FOR WORKING OUT NUMBER OF POST TO BE EARMARKED FOR EACH CATEGORY IN THE CASTE - WISE RESERVATION ROSTER) AND NOT VACANCY BASED.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES GROUP INSURANCE SCHEME-1980-TABLE OF BENEFITS FOR THE SAVING FUND FOR THE PERIOD FROM 01.10.2017 TO 31.12.2017 (Click the link to view)

GRANT OF DEPUTATION (DUTY) ALLOWANCE - RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SEVENTH CENTRAL PAY COMMISSION - REGARDING(Click the link to view)
http://document.ccis.nic.in/WriteReadData/CircularPortal/D2/D02est/2_11_2017_Estt_Pay_II.pdf
7th  CPC CLASSIFICATION OF POSTS – GAZETTE NOTIFICATION DT.9.11.2017



CABINET APPROVES INTRODUCTION OF THE PAYMENT OF GRATUITY(AMENDMENT)BILL 2017 IN THE PARLIAMENT 
(Clink the link to view)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

OVER TIME ALLOWANCE (OTA) TO OPERATIONAL STAFF - SEEKING INPUTS/COMMENTS (Click the link below to view)

NSTRUCTIONS ON APAR (Click the link below to view)

IMPORTANT

LATEST POSITION REGARDING MINIMUM PAY AND FITMENT FORMULA -- GOVT INFORMED STAFFSIDE NATIONAL COUNCIL JCM THAT INCREASE IN MINIMUM PAY AND FITMENT FORMULA WILL NOT COME UNDER ANOMALY COMMITTEE ITEM.

During the last 2 - 3 months both print and electronic media are continuously reporting that increase in 7th CPC Minimum Pay and Fitment Factor is under serious consideration of the Govt. and National Anomaly Committee will give its recommendation to Govt. and orders for increased Minimum Pay and Fitment Formula will be given effect from April 2018. We are reproducing below a letter from Govt. dated 30.10.2017 addressed to Secretary, Staff Side , National Council JCM  stating that the demand for increase in Minimum Pay and Fitment Formula will not come under the purview of National Anomaly Committee. Further Govt. has not yet constituted the HIGH LEVEL COMMITTEE for increasing Minimum Pay and Fitment Formula as assured by the Group of Ministers including Home Minister Sri Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley on 30.06.2016. The so-called Senior Officers Committee has also not discussed this agenda even though staff Side has repeatedly demanded discussion and settlement as per the assurance given by Senior Cabinet Ministers. Now 17 months are over. 32 lakhs Central Govt. Employees and 33 lakhs Pensioners are being continuously betrayed by the NDA Govt.    

M. Krishnan 
Secretary General 
Confederation 
Mob. & Whats App:  09447068125


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

CENTRAL TRADE UNIONS CALL UPON THE WORKING CLASS 
(Click the link to view)
CHANGE THE ANTI - PEOPLE ANTI - WORKER POLICIES OR ELSE THE PEOPLE & WORKERS WILL CHANGE THE GOVT.

The unprecedented joint trade union ‘mahapadav’ of workers concluded in the evening of 11th November 2017 with a clarion call to the working class of the country to intensify the struggle against the anti worker, anti people and anti national policies of the BJP led government.

The huge mass of workers who gathered from all over the country and from all sectors of the economy enthusiastically endorsed the unanimous call of the leadership of the joint trade union movement, made in the light of the 8th August 2017 national convention, to prepare for an indefinite country wide general strike if the government does not change tack and heed the voice of the working class. The trade unions decided to chalk out a prolonged course of agitations and actions towards that objective.

The string of actions will start with district level joint conventions to be completed by the first week of January 2018 followed by joint ‘Satyagraha’/ courting of arrest at the district headquarters in the last week of January. The common date for the courting of arrest in all districts in the state will be decided by the joint meeting of the state leadership of the trade unions.

In case of any anti worker measures being announced in the Union Budget, joint protest demonstrations will be held on the same day all over the country. The central trade unions will meet soon after the presentation of the Union Budget and decide upon the next course of action.

Along with this programme, the central trade unions also decided to go into joint industry/ sectoral strike whenever the government takes measures at privatisation. The national federations of scheme workers affiliated to the central trade unions will go on strike before the presentation of the Union Budget on their own demands. The date of the strike will be decided in their joint meeting.

The three days ‘mahapadav’ was significant in many ways. This was the first time that ten central trade unions and independent industrial federations jointly organised dharna in the national capital continuously for three days mobilising tens of thousands of workers on each day. The participation of women workers, not only the scheme workers, but also from other sections like beedi, construction, domestic workers, street vendors, home based workers etc was very huge, particularly on the third day. The participation of young workers was also remarkable.

Another significant feature is the participation of several state level trade unions. Some of them are part of the state level joint trade union platforms in states like Kerala, Telangana etc. In addition around 3000 transport workers, owners cum drivers of trucks etc from different states, who are not affiliated to any central trade union, participated at the initiative of the All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation.

The workers displayed extraordinary resolve to participate in the ‘mahapadav’ overcoming many difficulties. The air pollution in Delhi received wide coverage in the media all over the country. Delhi’s description as a ‘toxic gas chamber’ with a situation of ‘public health emergency’ created scare, particularly among those coming from the southern states. The banning of demonstrations and mobilisations at Jantar Mantar by the National Green Tribunal also raised questions on whether the ‘mahapadav’ will be allowed at all.

Many trains were running inordinately late and several were cancelled. Thousands of workers, including women workers from remote villages who travelled all the way to the nearest railway station had to go back after finding that the train they were to travel was cancelled. Thousands refused to go back despite knowing that their train was late. They just wanted to participate in the ‘mahapadav’ even for a little while. On each of the three days thousands arrived at the venue just as the dharna was about to conclude or after it was adjourned for the day. Around thousand women workers reached Delhi in the night of 11th November!

Attempts were made to create confusion among the workers. The BMS which has deserted the joint trade union movement on the eve of the country wide general strike on 2nd September 2015, the first one after the BJP led Modi government came to power certifying that the government was positive to the demands of the workers, gave a call for a rally in the national capital on 17th November. Rumours were floated that the ‘mahapadav’ has been cancelled. The government, which has been totally ignoring the 12 point charter of demands of the trade unions during the last over two years, called a meeting on 3rd November 2017 sending a notice of less than 48 hours. It did not invite the INTUC, one of the major trade unions and a constituent of the joint movement. When the trade unions protested and refused to attend the meeting unless INTUC was also invited, the government called another meeting but on the same day when three other central trade unions were called to depose before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour in Mumbai. After the trade unions again protested against the casual attitude of the Ministry of Labour, ultimately theo meeting was fixed on the evening of 7th November. But the government had nothing to offer. The trade unions stuck to their programme. The workers brushed aside all these machinations to confuse, divide and disrupt their unity and participated in the ‘mahapadav’ in large numbers.

The discipline displayed by the workers, belonging to different organisations and different states, during the entire duration of the three days’ ‘mahapadav’ was exemplary. Majority of the workers sat throughout the day and showed eagerness to hear the speakers – not less than 30 of them, in three sessions, every day! They responded with enthusiasm whenever a call was given to intensify the struggle.

However all this was of no consequence to the corporate media. The corporate controlled mainstream print and electronic media chose to black out the ‘mahapadav’ and the demands of the workers, the backbone of our economy. All that they could capture was some poor street vendors ‘doing hectic business’ selling shoes and books and the long lines near the public toilets!

But the ‘mahapadav’ and the issues raised by it received wide publicity in the social media and some pro people television channels. Several teams active in the social media talked to the workers and union leaders and uploaded them in the websites.

The struggle and the demands of the workers also received huge support from various organisations within the country as well as from outside. The two major international organisations of the working class, the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) sent messages of solidarity. In addition, national trade union organisations from different countries including Greece, Nepal etc expressed solidarity. The joint platform of over 100 kisan organisations and several women’s organisations came out in support of the ‘mahapadav’. 50 eminent personalities including writers, university professors, scientists, researchers, artists and social workers, signed a letter to the Prime Minister demanding that the issues raised by the joint movement of the workers be addressed immediately. There were many more such expressions of support to the struggle of the workers.

The three days ‘mahapadav’ makes one thing certain. Discontent against the policies being pursued by the government is growing among all sections of the working class – unorganised sector workers, organised sector workers, those in the public sector and in the private sector, the scheme workers, contract workers and all others. Even large sections of the middle class employees who have voted for BJP are becoming disillusioned with the government’s policies. It has shown that the workers are ready to fight. What is necessary is to make them aware that alternatives to the disastrous neoliberal policies exist; to make them aware that it is the working class which has to lead the struggle for such an alternative; and create confidence among them that they can do it through their organised strength and by uniting with other sections of toiling people like the peasants and agricultural workers.