National Executive Committee Meeting
Trivandrum, Kerala (India)
February 9-10, 2002
The working class of the country is facing a critical situation today. Many of our rights and privileges, which were won after hard-fought struggle before and immediately after independence, have either been lost or are in the process of being lost. The Govt. is selling out even the strategic industries and profit making PSU (Public Sector Undertakings) Navratvas to the private sector, which are to be passed on to multinational companies in the name of globalization. The Trade Union movement in the country has never faced such a challenging situation before. It has not so far shown either the strength or the ideological clarity and commitment to halt the erosion of economic sovereignty. As a result the employees and the Govt. are feeling confident enough to introduce and press ahead with the so-called Labour Reforms which only mean unrestricted license to the employers to hire and fire the workmen and deprive them of negotiated and quasi-judicially determined wage structure. Trade Unions are being gradually weakened with a view to ultimately depriving them of their right and capacity to bargain collectively. This meeting of National Executive Committee of IJU, held in Trivandrum on February 9-10, 2002, takes a serious view of the situation and records its determination to fight and beat the Government and employers to brow-beat the working class into surrendering their rights and privileges. While calling upon all the Central Trade Unions, to catch the bull of Globalization by horn and get together for unity in action against the increasing strident attacks on the working class and the concept of welfare state, this meeting urges and authorizes the IJU leadership to take prompt necessary action to build unity among all newspaper employees unions as well as Central Trade Unions to face and fight the fresh challenges we face today.
The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) views with sense of satisfaction the success of the democratic forces in compelling the Union Government to withdraw the original version of the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) and replace it by a new amended version. Although the new Ordinance is an improvement over the earlier version, the IJU is convinced after subjecting it to a detailed study that it still retains some of the obnoxious and draconian provisions that continue to pose a threat to the freedom of the Press and the rights of journalists to disseminate undiluted information to the people . While appreciating the need to forge unity for fighting the terrorist threat to the nation, this meeting of the national Executive Committee (NEC) is of the considered opinion that there are enough laws to fight terrorism, which in the ultimate analysis can be fought and defeated not merely by draconian laws but by the exercise of eternal vigilance by the people. It will not be in national interest, therefore, to stifle the voice of criticism or shut down the sources of information. The IJU, therefore, calls upon the Government to withdraw even this second version of the draconian POTO. It also authorizes the IJU's central leadership to make a common cause with other democratic forces to jointly fight for the abrogation of the Ordinance.