“Karmikara Kidi” (The Spark of Workers), A Newsletter Launched

The AICCTU unit in the Peenya Industrial Area of Bangalore unveiled a workers' paper named "Karmikara Kidi (The Spark of Workers)" in a meeting in December 2023. This paper was inaugurated by the workers of Yazaki movement, marking the one-year anniversary of its inception. Yazaki workers struggle resulted in a partial victory.

The Peenya Industrial Area stands as one of Asia's largest industrial zones, boasting over 10,000 factory sheds and a workforce exceeding one million. Despite its prominence as a manufacturing hub in Bangalore, fundamental rights such as minimum wage, provident fund (PF), employees state insurance (ESI), leave, and compensation for industrial accidents are conspicuously absent.

Worker-centric publications like "Karmikara Kidi" play a crucial role in raising awareness about these rights and disseminating information about workers struggles and movements, a narrative mostly absent in the mainstream media. The two-page newsletter of tabloid size, being published in Kannada and Hindi, is launched to reach out to workers of the industrial estate in general and the migrant labour in particular.

A batch of students of AISA and worker activists began the initiative of organising workers of the estate a year back through regular campaigns and demonstrations on workers issues. Yazaki workers were also contacted as a part of this process, which snowballed into a major struggle against the Yazaki, a multinational company in the area. The union, which was started from the scratch, has now grown with a capacity to mobilise some hundreds of workers of the estate in a short span of one year because of tireless, relentless efforts of students. The launching of the newsletter is also part of the same initiative.

The participants of the meeting recollected the contributions and sacrifices of Ashfaqullah Khan and fellow comrades. The workers also paid tribute to the people killed in Gaza and other fallen comrades of the working class movement.

The discussion highlighted the current fascist climate characterized by heightened communal polarization, pitting workers against each other and fracturing their unity, ultimately serving the interests of the corporate capital. Emphasis was placed on the imperative to resist this divisive tactic and prioritize unity of the working class.