AICCTU has launched a signature campaign across the state targeting 10 lakh signatures on various demands for workers. The campaign is launched to strengthen the union and party cadres and to increase our interaction with the community, said Comrade A.S. Kumar, president of AICCTU. The campaign will also seek donations and plans to raise 1 rupee per signature.
Campaign activities were conducted on September 24th and 25th in various parts of Tamil Nadu. In Chennai,activists of AICCTU, AISA, CPI(ML) went to neighbourhood wards 81, 85 and 86 in Ambattur Ward to collect signatures from working class neighborhoods. On September 24, over 300 workers organised in 21 groups collected signatures at various places in Chennai. This included 110 workers from On Load Gears(OLG) factory. Workers from Innovator, Standard Chemicals, Mercury Fittings, Agarwal Bhavan, Kanchi Kamakodi Hospital also participated in the campaign. Over 8000 signatures and Rs 13000 donations were collected.
In Sriperumbudur, a planning meeting was held on September 25th to launch the campaign, in which over 100 workers participated. In Thiruvallur Red Hills, a public street corner meeting was held to launch the campaign. Campaigns were also initiated in Coimbatore in Plant 1, Shanthi Gears Factory, Steer Company, Brass Air. Signatures were collected in various neighbourhoods including Periyanaickanpalayam, Ambedkar Nagar, R.R Nagar. Campaigns were launched in Pudukottai, Nagai, Tanjavur, Namakkal, Salem, Dindugal and Madurai.
There will be a review of campaign during November 7th centenary celebrations planned in Tanjavur and subsequent campaign decisions will be laid on an all-cadre meeting on November 6th according to Comrade Kumar.
The demands for the campaign include
. Price rise should be contained.
. Minimum wage of Rs 20000 per month has to ensured. NREGA should be expanded to 300 days for 2 people in a family at the wage of Rs 500 per day. NREGA has to be expanded to town muncipalities.
. Housing and Pattas to be availed for the homeless. Patta should be given to those who have occupied temple lands, mutt and government lands.
. Equal wage for equal work and permanency have to be ensured for contract workers.
. Precarious workforce including trainees, temporary and casual workers have to be limited to 5% in a factory through Industrial Standing Order Amendment Act 2008.
. Trade union Act has to be amended to recognise majority union.
. A policy document has to be published on FDI and subsidies to capital.
. Rs 7500 per month has to be ensured as pension for informal sector workers. Welfare benefits have to be doubled.
. Liquor factories and TASMAC shops have to be closed immediately.
. Manual scavenging has to be abolished by mechanising sewage cleaning.
. Loans to farmers in both government banks and private banks have to be cancelled. Land reforms, development of agricultural infrastructure, making agriculture viable, protection of agricultural land, water rights to Cauvery, Mullai Periyaru, Palaru, Siruvani and irrigation rights have to be guaranteed.
. Fishing rights to fisher communities and their livelihood rights have to be protected.
. Student loans should be cancelled and Government should provide education and medical services. Unemployment benefit of Rs 7500 per month should be ensured. New education policy should be withdrawn.
. Appropriate laws should be enacted to prevent caste and honor killings, to punish those responsible, to remove casteism in educational institutions, end caste atrocities and to ensure equality. Panchami lands have to be retrieved and given back to Dalit communities. Land rights, forest rights and livelihood rights to tribals have to be protected.
. Lokpal act has to be enacted to prevent corruption and to punish those responsible for corruption.
. Theft of natural resources have to be prevented. Anti people policies such as Koodankulam nuclear power station have to be withdrawn.
. Legal sections involving sedition and anti national activities have to be withdrawn. People who have been imprisoned for more than 10 years should be released.
. Leaders in local institutions have to be elected by voting.
. The participation of women workers have to be enumerated and an expert committee on the conditions of women workers have to be studied and their recommendations should be implemented with in 6 months.
. Violence on women should be prevented and safety of women should be ensured.