In comparison of the vast area and population of the country CFTUI has a long way to go but in our limited resources we have intervened very strongly in several states to uphold the right and dignity of the workers. To understand the complexion of CFTUI it is important to outline some important interventions of CFTUI in various sectors.
There are several thousand employees of works departments of Government of Bihar (which consists Road and Building Construction, Water supply, Electric Supply, Rural developments etc.) were deprived of their right to become permanent in their jobs even after working more than 15-20 years. In fact there is separate cadre called ‘ WORK CHARGED’ was created in Bihar state for the smooth functioning of the works departments of Bihar. It was formally mentioned in the PWD Code and PWD Accounts Code also.
The service condition of Work Charged Staff was amended by the Public works department circular no. 1344 dated 04.02.1949 as follows :-
The existing distinction between work charged establishment, temporary and permanent establishment and daily labour as given in PWD Code and PWD accounts code will be maintained but the conditions of service of work charged establishment will henceforth be identical with those of temporary Government servants. The posts in work charged establishment will henceforth be identical with those of temporary government servants. The posts in work charged establishment which are of permanent nature, that is required for 12 months in the year and for long and indefinite period will be made permanent and included in permanent establishment and the men employed on these posts, having one year approved service will be included amongst permanent government employees. Details in this connection are being worked out and till this is done the conditions of service applicable to temporary government servants will apply to all work charged posts.
It is the most unfortunate part of the affair that the government did not honor this statute and thousands of work charged staff are still struggling for permanency.
Our affiliate Bihar Provincial P.W.D. workers union was fighting for work charged workers since long and a series of movements, demonstrations campaigns were organized. We even fought this cause in the high court of Bihar and ultimately workers power could achieve their goal after a long struggle under the guidance of CFTUI. Despite defeat in law courts the government is hesitant to declare that they shall fully honor the statutory provisions honestly. Still there are many work charged employees who are deprived to their right to become permanent. The struggle is still continuing.
The municipal Corporation Employees of Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) were also facing acute problem of payments which could be solved due to the formidable intervention of CFTUI affiliated union.
The State Road Transport Corporation Employees of Bihar and Jharkhand were at the point of starvation for several years due to nonpayment of wages. Despite several agitational activities our affiliated union fought cases in Patna High court and Supreme Court of India.The condition has improved to some extent after the intervention of Hon’ble Supreme Court. There are still some problems with the casual employees. The matter is is still pending in the court.
In Andhra Pradesh our affiliate Janta Port & Dock Employees Union has a long tradition in fighting for the cause of workers. They have launched several agitations which has influenced the management in taking decisions in the interest of workers .
Shops & Establishment
There are several hundred thousand workers in the shops and small establishments of National capital Delhi who are subjected to sub human treatment by the employers. The workers do not get even the minimum wage prescribed by the government. There was no fixed working hours. The workers were completely unorganized and they had to any how survive for want of bargaining capacity. CFTUI came forward to organize them and launch agitations which had produced fruits to a grate extent. In some market minimum wage has been introduced and the working hour has also been regarded. Now the union has given notice to the government and the employers also that the salary must be paid through cheque. The Delhi branch of CFTUI did a historic demonstration before secretariat which has put pressure on the government. After few days of our demonstration the labour minister of Delhi State came out with a statement that salary payment to all the shops and establishment employees by cheque or bank transfer would be made mandatory. Of course workers in some market area has got success but the union has a long way to go.
Agriculture & Fisheries
Thousands of agriculture and Fisheries workers of Andhra Pradesh were displaced from their ancestral villages in the name of SEZ. CFTUI intervened in this matter in a very serious way and lot of agitations and demonstrations were done for the rehabilitation and compensation to the poor agriculture and Fisheries workers. Our unions have succeeded in some districts in getting rehabilitation package for the workers.
Health & Literacy
CFTUI has addressed the problems of health in poor working class and acute illiteracy among women. We arrange several health camps every year where the treatment of employees and their family members. We have run several literacy camps also. We are serious in establishing permanent health Centre and literacy centre.
We have undertaken the issue of women empowerment through our trade unions in our limited ways. We have two unions A. Domestic workers union and Anganbari workers union which is solely managed by the women leaders.
So far as the domestic workers issue is concerned we have joined hands with partners of WSM also. It is a positive sign that in Andhra Pradesh wages for domestic workers have been announced. In Maharashtra also a board has been constituted.
In the Aanganbari( village level lady workers) it is our long drawn struggle to make them permanent government employee. It was result of our continuous struggle that the monthly emoluments of the Anganbari workers have been raised from Rs. 500 per month to Rs. 3000 per month. It is most unfortunate that Bihar government has not paid anything to Anganbari workers whereas almost all the state government are paying there own share also. The Bihar Angabari workers are continuing there struggle for this.
We have created cooperative societies and self help groups also to raise the financial status of women workers and make them financially independent. Despite the trade union activities we have had awareness seminars on the issue of women trafficking also.
With the help of our grass root leadership we want to have our strong presence in all the major states so that we may develop the capacity of powerful intervention in the matters related to workers. The increased power will compel the government also to recognize us as an important Trade Union Centre. On the other hand we shall continue our efforts to get full support of ITUC and ITUC (A.P.). We also intend to make our ties with CSC, WSM more stronger which would be of great help to us. we also intend to develop our relations with other International Trade Federation of ITUC family to consolidate our position . It is our Endeavour to become the biggest representative organization of unorganized sector since they are not in the priority of several other National Federations of repute.