Defying inclement weather, thousands of workers marched through the busy thoroughfare of Kolkata with red flags, festoons and banners at the call of AICCTU’s ‘March to Writers Building’ on 12 October, with rousing slogans. The two rallies, which started from Howrah and Sealdah station culminated at Rani Rashmoni Road, Esplanade, where a mass meeting was held. Workers from different sectors, jute, construction, brick kiln, transport, bidi, hawkers, rickshaw pullers, ASHA and mid-day meal women workers actively participated in this rally. But, above all, thousands of workers, along with their family members from closed mills of Gouripur jute mills, Mohini mills added a new feature to this gathering. Women workers, especially from ASHA, mid-day meal and construction were also present in large numbers.
Under the present regime of TMC government, attack on democratic rights and lumpenisation has become the order of the day. AICCTU formulated a charter of demand on industrial and labour issues and a full-fledged programme for the working class of the state. AICCTU undertook a political campaign on the question of reopening the numerous closed industries, revival of sick industries, disbursal of PF, pension and gratuity to the workers of the closed mills, and demanding financial and social security of these workers. Workers’ conventions were held at different districts along with agitations at PF and labour offices.
Before the mass meeting, a 4 member delegation team of AICCTU state leadership met the state Industry and Commerce Minister, Partha Chatterjee at Writers’ Building and handed over the charter of demands. The delegation team included Atanu Chakravarty, President, Basudev Basu, General Secretary of the AICCTU State Committee, Nabendu Dasgupta, President of BCMF and Dibakar Bhattacharya, Secretary. The delegation team had a detailed discussion with the Minister, who assured that the issues raised would be considered and corrupt PF trustee board members booked.
The mass meeting began with inspiring songs from the Agneebina cultural team of Naihaty. Basudev Bose explained the demands placed before the Government and the outcome of the mentioned meet. The mass meeting was addressed by Subhendu Sen, National Secretary, AICCTU, Partho Ghosh, Secretary, CPIML W Bengal, Meena Pal, VP, AICCTU and Dibakar Bhattacharya. Atanu Chakravarty presided over the meeting. The entire gathering ended with a firm resolve to carry forward the struggle to a higher phase.