Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Workers' Struggle in India

The website, Libcom, has published translations of Faridabad Majdoor Samachar (Faridabad Worker' News, India), reflecting on the union question at Honda motor-cycle factory Tapukara, Rajasthan and Bellsonica car parts supplier in Haryana.

 The July issue explains:
“So the important questions are: Who to look to? Who to approach? Who to talk to? What-all to do? From our side, to initiate discussion we would say: workers should look towards other workers, workers should approach other workers, workers should talk to other workers. The points of departure to think and act together are the forming of bonds, coordination amongst workers within the factory, between factories, within the industrial area, between industrial areas, and at dwelling quarters. It is necessary to increase them.”

The August issue says:
“It is necessary for all workers to think in a new way and act to form new structures. And the tea workers of Munnar and garment workers of Bengaluru are already progressing in this direction. New structures need to emerge and are emerging with workers approaching workers, workers forming bonds, relations and increasing coordination with other workers within the factory, between factories, within the industrial area, between industrial areas, and at dwelling quarters. We are living in the times of lively pulses of global wage workers.”

These statements are much in accord with the sentiments of World Socialist Party (India) which said in 1995:

"In countries like India workers have the legal right to form trade unions. But there, too, unlike Europe and America, most of the big trade unions have been organised from above as fund-raising, vote-catching political subsidiaries of self-seeking "leaders" than as spontaneous, grass-root, independent and autonomous organisations of the working class to defend their economic interests. Moreover in the absence of factory-wide free election of trade union functionaries, there are as many unions as there are political parties, most of them operating with their hired gangsters and peculiar flags having very little regard to class-unity. Actually these trade unions are not genuine trade unions. Still workers' organised resistance against exploitation is a must; and for that matter, their resistance struggles must have to be freed from the infamy of remaining divided and subservient to various capitalist political parties. This they can achieve by organising themselves in fully integrated and independent trade unions of their own, by throwing away all kinds of blind faith and submissiveness regarding the wretched hierarchy of subscription-squeezer and flag-hoister "leaders". The working class movement is a movement of equals-organised by the workers and in the interest of the workers. No "leader", supposedly having some unknown "god"-given or "intrinsic" trick-finding qualities given is necessary to lead the working-class movement. For a "trick" cannot throw profit overboard. Simply because private property lives to levy its tribute on labour. All workers are able, rather abler than the "leaders", to understand their own class-interests only if they are fully informed of their circumstances from local to global. And to be informed of what is happening around, and what has happened earlier, what they require is to meet in regular general assemblies, discuss and debate all that matters keeping ears and minds open and decide to take such steps as deemed useful. In case a strike is to be declared, they would need a strike committee to be formed of recallable delegates elected and mandated in the general assembly-thus retaining the ultimate control in their own hands. Where there are many rival trade union shops in a single factory or workplace operated by many capitalist political parties, a socialist worker can neither keep on supporting the one he is in, nor go on seeking membership of one after another or all at the same time, nor can he open his own "socialist" trade union instead. What he can, and should, do as an immediate perspective, is to try to form a "political group" with like-minded fellow workers and campaign for a class-wide democratic unity as stated above. Whenever an opportunity arrives the group must use the assemblies as a forum for political propaganda to expose the uselessness of "leaders" and show that the trade union movement is unable to solve the problems of crises, insecurity, poverty, unemployment, hunger and wars"

If you seek to strengthen the workers' movement contact:
The World Socialist Party (India): 257 Baghajatin ‘E’ Block (East), Kolkata – 700086,
Tel: 2425-0208,

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