by Editorial Board, For a Proletarian Party
1. An All India strike has been called on 2nd September, 2015 by 11 central trade unions to oppose the onslaught of Central Government on the workers and other toiling people. These 11 Central TU.s include not only the so called left central trade unions like CITU, AITUC, UTUC etc, but also the central trade unions like INTUC and BMS affiliated with the ruling class parties like Congress(I) and BJP. On the other hand, AICCTU affiliated with CPI(ML) Liberation is also member of these alliance of central TUs.
These Central TUs have put in a 12 point charter of demands which include urgent measures for containing price rise, stoppage of disinvestment, stoppage of contractorisation in perennial jobs, minimum wage of Rs 15000, and others. The strike is also against FDI in Railways, Insurance and Defence and against labour law amendments.
2. It is beyond doubt that the present Central Government led by Narendra Modi has embarked upon a tremendous attack on the livelihoods of the workers and other toiling people of India in the name of economic reforms. Labour laws are being amended to give the capitalists increased power to “hire and fire” workers at their will. More and more sectors of economy are being flung open for the loot of imperialist capital and Indian big bourgeoisie. The remaining public sector companies are being sold off to the Indian and Foreign big capital at heavy discount. Social security expenditures are being further curtailed, etc.
3. This attack was more or less expected because from the beginning of the run-up of last parliamentary election, it was evident that the big bourgeoisie was very keen to put their trusted lieutenant Narendra Modi at the helm of governmental power. Though, the present attack is an integral part of the attack of Globalisation and Liberalisation which is continuing for past 25 years or so, in terms of ferocity it is much bigger than which was continuing in immediate past.
The BJP led Central Government has began this onslaught to serve their masters, the big bourgeoisie, who are trying to wriggle out of the crisis they are in, by transferring the burden of crisis on the shoulders of working class and toiling people. Nobody can doubt that not only there should be a fitting protest against this tremendous attack, what is needed is a resistance struggle of the working class to stop this onslaught
4. However, the experience of last 25 years or so has also shown clearly that the parties with which these central trade unions are affiliated, have been in State or Central Governments on various occasions and were hand in gloves with the ruling classes in implementing the policies of Globalisation-Liberalisation for the benefit of Indian big bourgeoisie and imperialist capital.
Moreover, in this period, these central trade unions, especially the left trade unions, organized numerous such one-day All India industrial strikes, but did not try to build struggle against the onslaught of the capitalists at the plant level. Rather, in states like West Bengal, where they were in governmental power for long years, they actively colluded with the mill owners in their attack on the workers and also forced the workers to surrender to the onslaught of the mill owners. There cannot be any doubt that without fighting the capitalists at the factory level, the united, nationwide struggle against the concerted attack of the capitalist class and their representative, the governments, cannot be built up. So, such call for All India Strike, while betraying the struggle of workers at the plant level, is nothing but an eye wash and a policy to cover up their pro-capitalist role and is aimed at winning over the workers to their side by hoodwinking them.
5. Advising the supposedly handful of workers under their command, not to be get posed as strike breakers, given the present condition, is one thing, but the communist revolutionary groups in general are being found to support this all India industrial strike of 2nd September in its actual spirit. Presumably, they feel that this strike with all limitations is a struggle against the policies of the Government, where on the contrary the workers in general seem to remain apathetic towards such routine one-day strikes. It is inevitable because, from their experience, the workers are convinced about the futility of these strikes and also about the conspiracies of the old parties and their unions.
The communist revolutionary groups fail to recognize that these Central Trade Unions neither have any intention, nor any capacity for building up a real resistance struggle against the policies of the government. Rather, with such strikes they are hoodwinking the workers and keeping them within their fold. There cannot be any doubt only by developing a real resistance struggle of the working class in alliance with other toiling masses, the onslaught of the ruling classes can be resisted and that struggle cannot be built up by the working class if it does not make itself free from the influences of these old trade unions and parties. If these strikes are mistaken as struggle, it will impede the workers to free themselves from the harmful influence of these Unions and Parties, especially the reformist-revisionist parties and their unions, and to prepare themselves for real nationwide united struggle in the days to come.
6. There can be no doubt that only a united and nationwide struggle of the working class and other toiling people, not such so called struggles organized from above by the old parties and their unions, can resist this tremendous onslaught of the ruling classes. However, we are passing through a period where there has not been existence of any real working class party in our country for a long time. The existence of such party also would have meant the presence, to an extent, of a certain amount of unity of struggling workers in an all India level and that party would have facilitated the united and nationwide struggle of the working class now in the absence of the said party there can be no way for building nationwide resistance struggle other than from the growth of plant level struggle and organization against the individual capitalists, where they are shed off long passivity and prepare themselves for the bigger offensive
The workers must free themselves from the old unions, old parties and build up their own struggle, own organization. The process has just started and still is very weak. The communists who really want to work for the revival of working class movement in our country must help the workers to build up their own struggle and own organization at the plant level and also help the leading workers to get united in an all India plane. Any support to these so called struggles of the old parties will help to retain their influences on the workers, however weak and hollow that may be.