Thousands of workers stage demonstration at Delhi secretariat for enacting Contract System abolition Act.
AAP government turns its back on its own promise, the labour minister of Delhi government said that the anti-contract system act will harm the capitalists and hence the Kejriwal government will not present the contract labour abolition legislation in Delhi Assembly
February 6, New Delhi. Around two thousand workers staged a huge demonstration today under the banner of Delhi Mazdoor Union. The workers were making the demand of enacting a contract system abolition act from the Kejriwal government. The workers were first tried to stop at Kisan ghat by erecting barricades, but the workers managed to reach the gate of Delhi Secretariat by crossing over the barricades. The workers staged a dharna there from 1 pm to 6 pm. Seeing the huge demonstration the labour minister Girish Soni came out to address the workers at around 3 pm. When the representatives of Delhi Workers Union put forward their demand to present such a bill, he responded by saying that such a bill cannot be presented. When provisions of the central act ‘Contract Workers Act, 1971’ was read out and when he was told that the central contract workers act is very weak, he asked to send a 5 member delegation to meet him. But the workers insisted that the labour minister Girish Soni give some assurance regarding the enactment of such legislation. Failing to give any response to the workers’ representatives, the labour minister hurriedly fled from the spot after this. Subsequently at around 4:30 pm a delegation of workers went inside the secretariat to meet Girish Soni once again. There Girish Soni told in clear terms that he will not make any such act because he has to take into consideration the interests of the management and companies hiring contract labourers. After that when the representatives warned them to clarify his stand on this legislation, he asked for half an hour time for pondering. When the talk resumed after half an hour, Girish Soni told that such a legislation would require three-fourth majority which it will not get. On this the workers’ representatives told that it is the job of the Kejriwal government to present the bill. If any legislature votes against it, he will be exposed before the people and Delhi Mazdoor Union will carry out exposure campaign against him. But the government must present the bill. Finding no other way the labour minister then told straight away that since such a legislation would harm the capitalists, his government will not present it. When the workers’ delegation demanded to give the same in writing, he said that government does not give anything in writing. After this the workers’ representatives tried to register their complaint on the anti-corruption helpline though phone. But as soon as the operator of the anti-corruption helpline was told that the complaint was against the labour minister Girish Soni, he responded that he cannot register the complaint.
Delhi Mazdoor Union secretary Ajay Swami told that Kejriwal government’s character has been exposed today. It is totally against workers. The Aam Aadmi Party is now publically turning its face away from the promises it had made in the election manifesto. To escape from the promise of abolishing the contract labour system, Kejriwal government has formed a committee which will carry out investigation on contract labour. Delhi government already has all the information about the contract labourers of Delhi. Nothing is left to be investigated at this point. What Kejriwal government had to do was to enact a contract labour system abolition legislation in Delhi as against a weak central act. But instead it has chosen to take the beaten path of forming committees. It in itself shows that the Kejriwal government’s promise to abolish the contract labour system was a betrayal with the labourers.
Shiwani from Karwal Mazdoor Union said that after the talk with the labour minister Girsh Soni it is now clear that Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party had made the promise of abolishing the contract system only to get the vote of labourers. But since the formation of the AAP government the manner in which all the industrialists, contractors etc. are strongly supporting the Aam Aadmi Party, itself reveals the true character of Kejriwal government. This is a betrayal with the workers and also a fraud against them. But today’s demonstration was a warning demonstration that Kejriwal government give a written assurance that the contract labour system abolition bill will be presented before the coming into being of code of conduct of Loksabha election, otherwise if today two thousand workers have knocked the door of secretariat, after one month tens of thousands of workers will come to jam the gate of secretariat.
Kavita from North-West Delhi Mazdoor Union said that after Holi (16th March), a huge mass of about 50 lakh contract workers will gherao the Kejriwal government and will force it to present the contract system abolition bill. Today’s demonstration is just a beginning. The workers’ charter movement will continue continuously in the days to come and Kejriwal government will not be able to turn its face from its promises. In todays’ demonstration the workers’ representatives have arrived from about all the industrial workers of Delhi. But if our demands are not met, a Mazdoor Satyagrah will be commenced after 16th March.
Navin who had come from Udyognagar Mazdoor Union Piragadhi said that the workers of Udyognagar had come here with the hope that the Kejriwal government will give them a written assurance for fulfilling its promise. But, on the contrary it turned its face from the electoral promise and Girish Soni, the Labour Minister in Kejriwal government said in clear terms that that it will not pass the Contract System abolition act because it will harm the contractors. This in itself shows the bias of Kejirwal government. It was making the promise to the workers only to get the votes. And after the government formation it is publically turning its face away from it. What then is the difference between Congress, BJP and AAP? Even the Congress and BJP governments have done the similar fraud in the last 65 years. And now the Aam Aadmi Party has proved that it too belongs to the same tribe.
Sunny from Vajirpur Karkhana Mazdoor Union said that the goons of Aam Aadmi Party were continuously putting hindrance in the preparations of today’s demonstration, they were threatening and intimidating the workers. In all the industrial areas mostly the factory owners and contractors have become the members of AAP. It was their goons who were threatening to lay off the workers in order to make today’s demonstration unsuccessful. Despite this the workers reached in huge numbers and thereby they have proved that they are not afraid of the goons of AAP. Despite this, it is now clear that Kejriwal government has made its mind of betraying the workers. The Aam Aadmi Party will have to pay for it in the coming Loksabha elections because after this betrayal the workers will throw the Aam Aadmi Party to the dusbin.
In the end of the demonstration, all the two thousand workers took an oath. As per this oath, all the workers of Delhi will totally boycott Aam Aadmi Party, will show the door to the candidates of Aam Aadmi Party in the coming elections, an exposure campaign will be carried out against the Kejriwal government and on 24th March the secretariat gate will be jammed with tens of thousands of workers. Rakesh from Delhi Mazdoor Union said that date of 24th March is fixed provisionally. Even if Congress withdraws its support after the Loksabha elections, the Aam Aadmi Party government cannot fall before June. Hence the Kejriwal government will be forced in the next demonstration to fulfill its promise. If Kejriwal government does not give written commitment to Delhi Mazdoor Union and all workers of Delhi to pass such legislation, the secretariat gate will be jammed in the next demonstration. The dharna was ended at 6 pm. Besides Delhi Mazdoor Union, Karawal Nagar Mazdoor Union, Delhi Metro Theka Kamgar Union, Vajirpur Karkhana Union, Udyognagar Mazdoor Union, Mangolpuri Mazdoor Union, North-West Delhi Mazdoor Union and Stree Mazdoor Union took part in this demonstration.