1st May, is celebrated worldwide as International Labour Day, also called as ‘May Day’. This recognition to working class from International Labour Organization( ILO), has come out of struggle and sacrifices of many unsung heroes of yesteryears.  

In nineteenth century, industrialization was rapidly growing and workers were being exploited. The workers had to struggle for improvement of working conditions, better salary and to limit working hours. There were agitations, especially in European countries and America. Chicago agitation of 1886 mainly for achieving 8 hours duty is well known. The Chicago protests are now celebrated as Labour Day on 1st May.

Since then workers have been continuously struggling, agitating for achieving betterment in living and working, depending upon unity and striking power. 

However, today, in 2020 we are in altogether different situations. Working hands have no work. Industries are closed. Even petty works are closed, not only in India but all almost over the world.  Whole world is in ‘Lockdown’ for last three to four months and likely to continue for very long time. Entire world economy has shattered.  We are in grip of a contagious virus named ‘Corona’ or Covid-19 as declared by WHO. This virus has originated from Wuhan capital of Hubei Province of China and has spread over almost all counties claiming lakhs of deaths.

Today, a peculiar situation exists, there is no employee, no employer as everything is closed. Even self-employed, farmers are unable to work and earn their living. In India things are worst. Migrant workers from one state to another particularly those who work as daily earning labourers, be it construction workers, workers in small eateries etc. could not withstand sudden declaration of lockdown. Plight of such workforce which is in lakhs, is horrible. Though various governments, NGOs are organizing food and shelter, it is far from adequacy. The workers are daring to travel for hundreds of kilometers on foot to reach their home places at least to be with loved once. The present situation and the near future look to be very dark. The economy is worst hit. Crores of jobs are lost and at least for about few years things are going to be very difficult.

At this stage broadly, we must acknowledge the sincere efforts of governments, local bodies and various organizations including labour unions in disaster management. More than that we must acknowledge the hard work that is being put in by medical and other essential services like sanitary workers, police, electronic and print media,railways, road, air and waterways transportations, provision suppliers etc. who are risking their lives in fight against Covid-19 virus.

ILO too has shown it’s concern during safety webinar on 28th April 2020,in which amongst others NFITU delegation participated and putforth our view point.

In this situation our role as Trade Unions is very challenging of restoring normalcy and protecting dignity of working class.  It is also time to review the policies, the strategies of governments, politicians and society at large, as to how we want to proceed after we overcome the present crisis of the virus.

Now it is proven in this last one month lockdown that the public servants and government servants, the government hospitals, essential services like public transports, local government bodies have stood true to their positions against all odds and have been performing at risk of their lives. When such control is available to government over their employees, is it advisable to go on privatization of such organizations. The policy of privatization that has been going on crazily needs to be stopped the PSUs are required to be reactivated and optimum utilization of human resources has to made to give human touch while reviving economy.

Our beloved leader Late Shri George Fernandes had a clear stand that ‘IF INDUSTRIES EXIST, WORKERS EXIST’. Similarly if Nations emerges strong, we shall be strong. HMKP therefore is always positive and active in Nation Building. HMKP will deliberate and chalk out our course of further action ,once  we  overcome present Covid-19 crisis.

Our Salute all those known and unknown heroes of working class movement.


Subhash Malgi

General Secretary,

Hind Madoor Kisan Panchayat




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