DTC Workers Campaign in Delhi and Punjab
Punish Kejriwal’s Party for Its Betrayal to Workers
The DTC Workers Unity Centre (DTCWUC), affiliated to AICCTU, conducted an extensive campaign from the beginning of February against the blatant betrayal of workers by the AAP (Aam Admi Party) led Delhi government.
Systematic Destruction of DTC and Violation of Workers Rights: The AAP had promised in its manifesto, before getting elected to Delhi Government in 2015, that it will regularise the services of all contractual workers of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). The AAP is now enjoying the second consecutive rule in Delhi, but the promise of regularising contractual workers has long been thrown to the winds. The DTC is also gradually being handed over to the private. The buses that were bought during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi have become outdated to run on roads. Rather than buying new buses for DTC, the management and the government are opening up entry for privately owned buses.
The buses run by the DTC have been playing crucial role for running the city. The buses are the main mode of transport for the city’s working population and common masses. Delhi, which is one the most polluted cities in the world regularly sees jammed roads due to dominance of private cars. At a time when massive expansion of public transport such as DTC buses has become the need of the hour to provide accessible transport for the city’s population and control pollution, the Delhi Government and the DTC management have been destroying the very public nature of the Delhi Transport Corporation.
The importance of the DTC has once again come to the fore during last two years of lockdown and pandemic. The drivers and workers of DTC have been providing the crucial mode of transport for workers engaged in essential services during lockdown. Despite this, the very core infrastructure of the DTC is being destroyed.
The Kejriwal government has not only betrayed the DTC workers regarding regularisation, it also engages in illegal practice of discriminatory pay structure to the contractual workers. Due to rampant privatisation of DTC, several workshops and depots have got adversely affected. To top it all, the Kejriwal government has repeatedly denied to talk to the union of DTC workers and address their grievances. The Transport Minister of Delhi, Shri Kailash Gahlot, is also the Managing Director of the DTC. Yet, the DTC workers remain unheard and ignored.
‘Pol Khol’ or Exposure Campaign against the Delhi Govt and the AAP by DTC Workers:
Faced with repeated denial of their rights, the DTC Workers Unity Centre decided to conduct an exposure campaign against the Delhi Government and the AAP.
The first phase of the campaign was conducted in Delhi from 2nd to 10th February. Dozens of gate meetings were held in the gates of DTC depots. The DTC workers took out ‘Shav Yatra’ or symbolic funeral of the Delhi Government for repeatedly betraying the workers.
The second phase of the campaign was continued in poll bound Punjab. The people of Delhi have noticed how the AAP has been repeating the same hyperbole in Punjab election as it did in Delhi. For last seven years, the workers of Delhi have experienced the betrayal of the Kejriwal government. Thus, it was imperative that the reality of AAP rule is exposed to the workers and the people of Punjab.
A team of DTC workers led by Comrade Abhishek, Delhi State Secretary of AICCTU and Comrade Rajesh, General Secretary of DTCWUC campaigned among sanitation workers, contractual workers and common people of Punjab. The campaign started from Sunam, the birth place of revolutionary freedom fighter Sardar Udham Singh. After five days of campaign, the AICCTU team held press conference in Mohali on 16th February on the occasion of Ravidas Jayanti. While addressing the press conference, Comrade Rakesh said that AAP rule is antithetical to the vision of Sant Ravidas who envisioned an egalitarian world where there will be no exploitation. The fight against betrayal and exploitation is ingrained in the soil of Punjab. He appealed to the people of Punjab not to get illusioned by the false promises of AAP and listen to the workers of Delhi who are being systematically denied of their rights.
The DTCWUC will continue its struggle against privatisation of DTC and exploitation of contractual workers.