TUCI Press Statement on Corona Virus.
The New Corona virus has presented society with a fresh challenge. The fact that such a threat is recurring so frequently (like SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012) shows that the ecology of the world is in a crisis caused by human wanton intervention. In the face of the unknown danger of COVID-19 the Government seems to have chosen the strategy of total shutdown. However, it is only being implemented in a half-hearted fashion. Factories and other industrial establishments have not been shutdown in many states. This is absolutely foolhardy and makes a mockery of the shutdown of schools, courts, government offices trains, etc. There is no value in isolation if factories are going to be allowed to function. Some states have called for shutting down factories and industrial establishments but that is also not enough. Workers are not in a position to bear the burden of the shutdown. It is necessary that all workers, including contract workers, casual workers, badlis and the like must be paid their full wages for the whole of the period of the lockdown.
Besides this, the workers, in many places are being made to stay in their residences and are not being allowed to move out of their residences (sometimes by the police force). It is necessary to provide for reaching essential items like food, medicines and sanitation materials to all persons at or near to their place of residence such that they can collect the same while maintaining appropriate social distancing.
At the same time TUCI assures the public at large that its workers who are engaged in essential services like municipal services, hospitals, banks, airlines (for evacuation of our citizens) etc will work diligently and ensure that they will do whatever is possible to help during these times.
To recap our demands of the Central and State Governments:
- Wherever it is necessary to impose a shutdown, such a shutdown must include also factories and other industrial establishments.
- All workers working in such shutdown establishments must be retained in service, including contract, casual, badli, etc workers.
- All such workers must be paid full wages for the full period of shutdown as if they had actually worked during those days.
- All workers in other areas which are not shutdown but who are unable to reach the places of work due to the shutdown must be treated as if they are in an area of shutdown.
- If the shutdown extends to the end of March, care must be taken to reach the wages of the workers to them immediately.
- Provision must be made to reach essential items like food, medicine, sanitation materials to all persons during periods of shutdown.
It is only in this fashion that we will be able to make use of the strategy of shutdown to fight this new menace.
- Workers of the world unite as never before to fight COVID 19!
- The World is for us to win and leave to the next generation. Don’t let the capitalist bosses destroy the world!
TRADE UNION CENTRE OF INDIA (TUCI)