Updates : Construction Workers' March to Parliament

On 15 March 2010, under the banner of the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU)-affiliated All India Construction Workers’ Federation (AICWF), hundreds of construction workers from different states held a March to Parliament against hike in fuel rates, price rise and to demand implementation of the Central Construction Workers’ Act 1996 throughout the country. The procession was led by AICCTU General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee, the General Secretary of the Federation RN Thakur, President of the Federation S Balasubramanian, V.President SK Sharma, Dashrath Sinhali from Gujarat, Harkesh Bugalia from Rajasthan, several construction workers’ leaders from Bihar, AICCTU Delhi State Secretary Santosh Roy, President NM Thomas, AICWF leaders like VKS Gautam, Ardhendu Roy from Delhi and Anthonymutthu and Iraniappan from Tamilnadu and AIPWA Secretary Kavita Krishnan. While the Construction Labour Act has not been implemented throughout the country even 14 years after its enactment, the pro-corporate Acts like SEZ are implemented promptly even at gunpoint. Six crore workers of the flourishing construction industry do not even get a living wage and any protection from skyrocketing price rise. As the majority of these construction workers are migrant workers, they face attacks at the hands of regional chauvinistic forces. The March to Parliament gave a call for an all-out protest against the budget 2010 and intensification of movement of unorganized workers including construction workers. The March also demanded Rs.200/- as national level minimum wage with inclusion of VDA for all unorganized workers, provision of Inter-state I-cards to migrant workers, enacting the Food Security Act, BPL cards to all construction workers, equal wages for women workers and other demands. A 15-point Charter of demands was submitted to Labour Secretary, Govt. of India by a four-member delegation.

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