Vol. XLII No. 52 December 30, 2018

National conference of CWFI gave a clarion call to defeat BJP and allied forces to save India

THE 9th national conference of CWFI (Construction Workers Federation of India) was held at Sholapur, Maharashtra on October 26-28. The conference was presided over by R Singaravelu-president of CWFI.

Tapan Sen, general secretary of CITU inaugurated the conference. He termed the BJP rule as disastrous for the Indian economy and to the working class. He said, the Modi government is destroying the public sector companies and banks and is giving impetus to the private Indian and foreign monopoly companies to take over the Indian PSUs. The government wants restriction on free movement of labour and intends to introduce four labour codes while revoking 44 labour laws. This is completely unacceptable he said. He cited the tardy collection of construction worker’s welfare fund in the last 20 years(1998-2018). Just Rs 42,000 crore in the form of ‘construction cess’ was collected throughout India whereas a far higher amount should have been collected. Even out of this amount, only Rs 24,000 crore has been spent to benefit the workers. This is an important issue which the CWFI must raise and mount pressure on both the state and central governments to realize more cess amount from construction companies both in the public and private sector. Also, the CWFI will have to build pressure on authorities so that the money reaches the beneficiaries on time.

Debanjan Chakrabarti, general secretary of CWFI placed the report for discussion. The first session of the conference discussed a special paper on working women problems. Valuable experience of the working women in the construction industry was shared by the discussants.

Thirty six delegates from 21 states & 3 union territories participated in the discussion on the general secretary’s report. The conference was attended by 416 delegates from 21 states amongst whom 44 were female delegates.

The conference unanimously elected Sukhbir Singh as president and V Sashikumar as general secretary of CWFI along with 87 working committee members.

The conference adopted resolutions in support of January 8-9 strike; against communal and divisive forces and in support of Haryana transport workers strike.

The conference concluded with a mass meeting which was attended by thousands of workers and common people in a nearby ground.


The following future programme was also adopted in the conference:

  1. Campaign to make all India general strike on January 8-9, 2019 a success.
  2. On January 2, 2019, street corner meetings in districts in support of the strike.
  3. ‘Defeat BJP & allied forces to save India’ will be the focal slogan for the ensuing parliamentary elections in the country. The CWFI will work to achieve it.
  4. Extend solidarity and support to the movements of JEJAA.
  5. Organise trade union and political classes in every state at least once in six months.
  6. An increase of 25 percent in membership of CWFI by 2019.
  7. To form working women sub-committees within six months time and to take up the migrant labour issues in a planned manner.