Skip to main content

Farmers, workers 'left' at the mercy of market, corporates: Call for solidarity action

Counterview Desk

In a call to workers organisations for solidarity action in support of the protesting farmers, more than 40 trade unions and labour associations have claimed that the Government of India’s sole aim is to “push big corporate control over all aspects of farming, especially to allow farm produce to be bought by big corporates at low prices”.
Insisting that the government should accept the farmers’ demand of an unconditional roll back of all the three “anti-farmer” bills, the TUs, under the banner of Working Peoples’ Charter Network (WPC), said, the recent four labour codes to “reform labour laws” also gives no hope to either organised working class or over 400 million informal workers, who feel “cheated” as they have been “left to the mercy of the ‘market’.”
“Such control over farmers and workers’ lives will have far reaching implications on commodity prices, financial structure, wages, public health and environment”, it added in a statement.

Text:

We, representatives of workers organisations, stand in solidarity with the historic farmers' protest in India and extend our full support to their demands. We appeal to the government to accept the farmers demands.
The unprecedented unity of the farmers, and the determination and militancy of the struggle has deeply impressed people across classes and sectors in the whole country. The attempts of a section of the ruling party and government to paint those who produce food for the nation, as terrorists and anti-nationals, has found no takers beyond their own camp followers. When such large numbers of farmers who are the food producers of the country, are on the streets, people in the country have to listen to them and their concerns, and support their just demands,
On June 5, 2020, amidst the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, the Government of India hastily passed three ordinances namely Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. By September 2020, these ordinances were made into law without sufficient parliamentary discussion or any talks with the farmer’s representative and its potential repercussions on their lives.
The laws and the entire farm policy of the government is an attempt to push big corporate control over all aspects of farming, especially to allow farm produce to be bought by big corporates at low prices. The farmers are demanding an unconditional roll back of all the three bills. The government prefers to indulge in a battle of wills with the farmers, rather than engaging with their demands. On the other hand they are waging a propaganda war against the farmers.
The movement has stayed strong, and it has inspired and awakened consciousness across all segments of society. A large number of marginal farmers are also informal workers. The rural poor travel to far off destinations from their homes in search of work to support their families back home.
We saw the sheer numbers involved when thousands of migrant workers took to the highways, walking hundreds of miles back to their homes during the Covid lockdown when they were left stranded without income and without shelter. Most of the workers in the informal sector are also victims of the deep agrarian crisis. 
Farmers and workers are both producers and consumers. Controlling them will provide dictating powers in the hands of few corporations
Without access to jobs, or land and decent livelihood, the poor in the rural areas are forced to leave their homes in search of work and income. In the cities to which they go, many of them are barely earning a minimum wage, have no security of employment and are deprived of protection of labour legislations. 
The agrarian crisis and the struggle for survival of the farmers is our battle also! Workers and farmers must stand together!
The government has recently passed four labour codes to ‘reform labour laws’. One of the key promises of these reforms was to include over 400 million informal workers who were ignored by all governments to date. Though informal workers were given hopes, they soon realized that they have cheated once again under the garb of illusionary reform, and again left to the mercy of the ‘market’.
The farm laws bills lead to greater control on the farm and labour market by the big corporations. Such control over farmers and worker lives will have far reaching implications on commodity prices, financial structure, wages, public health and environment. Farmers and workers are both producers and consumers. Such control will provide dictating powers in the hands of few corporations, leaving the majority of farmers and workers in unimaginable distress.
At this historical juncture we call upon all workers organisations, whether in the informal sector or formal sector, to join an All India Workers Sangharsh Coordination Group (AIWSCG) to join farmers' protest, in support of the demand to withdraw the three laws. 
We, as part of AIWSCG, unanimously resolve to join the farmer movement in solidarity, to demand the repeal the three anti- farmer laws.
We further demand that informal workers in the urban and rural sector should have guaranteed minimum wages, social security and timely payment of wages.
Jai Mazoor, Jai Kisan! Mazdoor Kisan ekta zindabad!
---
Click here for the signatory organisations

Comments

TRENDING

RSS wanted Constitution 'replaced' by Manusmriti which abused Dalits, women

By Shamsul Islam* The Constituent Assembly of India finalized the Constitution of India on November 26, 1949 which is celebrated as the Constitution Day This Constitution promised new born Indian Republic a polity based on democracy, justice, egalitarianism and rule of law. However, RSS was greatly annoyed. Four days after the historic event of approval of it, the RSS English “Organiser” in an editorial on November 30, 1949, complained:

Pending GoI wage payments to rural labour reach Rs 5,100 crore: NREGA Morcha

By Our Representative  MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), which is said to have provided a cushion to millions of rural households amidst great economic distress during the Covid-19 pandemic, continues to be bogged with poor implementation, NREGA Sangharsh Morcha has alleged.

Once centres of civilisation, Indian cities turning into 'major cause of concern'

By Soumyadip Chattopadhyay*  Each year, October 31 is celebrated as the World Cities Day. The theme this year was Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience. The Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies, Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, organized a special lecture on city as environment as part of the discussion under the #WebPolicyTalk series on the State of Cities -- #CityConversations.

Nuclear energy 'can't solve' global warming, will 'strain' financial, natural resource

Counterview Desk  Taking strong exception to Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who has favoured nuclear energy as a solution to global warning, well-known power and policy analyst Shankar Sharma has said that the IAEA chief's “unsubstantiated advocacy” of nuclear power is associated with “diversion of considerable amounts of scarce resources, both financial as well as natural, of many developing countries, such as India.”

Forget 'bheek', by this logic, Gujarat was free of British rule in 1995, 19 yrs before India

The real freedom fighting brigade By Rajiv Shah  Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut may have her own reasons to say that India acquired real freedom in May 2014, when Narendra Modi came to occupy India’s seat of power.  There was little to be amused by what she said, for, as many commentators have variously pointed out, her viewpoint was surely based on her little or no knowledge of the history of the Indian freedom movement.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Learning to bridge 'huge chasm' between highly educated, illiterate, badly literate

By Shrey Ostwal, Sandeep Pandey*  The pivotal point of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s journey to become Mahatma Gandhi began when his “political guru” – Gopal Krishna Gokhale – advised young Mohandas to travel around India. This rigorous journey was essential for Mohandas to understand his country and countrypersons better if he were to fight the inhumane and unempathetic British regime which had been looting India of its glory for about two centuries then.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Farm laws: Modi has been taking decisions without consulting experts, stakeholders

By Ajit Singh* In a surprise move, the Prime Minister of India in a video message that went live on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti announced to scrap three contentious farm laws in the upcoming winter session of Parliament. These laws were notified in September last year but put on hold due to widespread opposition, especially by farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

Modi withdrew farm laws, but has no word on 'pro-corporate, oppressive' policies

Farmers celebrate withdrawal of three laws By Harsh Thakor  Punjab farmers have no doubt won a historic battle in overpowering the farm laws with the support of the working class, students, youth and intellectuals. Noticeably, the non-sectarian approach of the participating organisations, which confronted Hindutva neo-fascism, Sikh separatist politics and Indian and foreign corporate monopoly, helped in enhancing their striking capacity.