Mazdoor Adhikar Sangharsh Abhiyan, a platform consisting of 14 trade union and workers organizations from different parts of India, had its first state level Convention at Kothagodem in Telengana on 1st December 2016. MASA was formed earlier on 28 August 2016 through a mass Convention in Delhi to spearhead a joint campaign on the issues of workers struggles on a trade union plane, particularly anti-worker labour law reforms, minimum wage and Contract system on an All India level. As part of its activities, state level conventions are in process, and comrades from IFTU in Telengana were the first state to organize it on behalf of MASA.
The convention was attended by more than 500 workers including mining workers from Singareni coal belt, transport workers, bidi workers, tiles workers, loading unloading workers etc. Representatives from different organizations including IFTU, Jan Sangharsh Manch Haryana, WSC Gurgaon, WSC Rudrapur, IMK, Grameen Mazdoor Union, AIWC, SSKU Bengal etc addressed the convention. Various state level organizations shared their experiences regarding organizing contract and casual workers , campaigning for a national level Minimum wage as well as difficulties in unionizing thanks to labour law reforms.
Contract Workers from Singareni coal belt were present in good numbers. This belt which is spread over four to five districts has seen heavy privatization as well as contractualization in recent times. Workers shared their experiences with regard to precarious work conditions, wages as well as their need to unionize. There were a number of workers from informal sector like bidi workers, loading unloading workers etc and hence a discussion regarding ways in which these workers can be unionized took place.