Demand Day across Jharkhand


AICCTU organized a one day dharna across Jharkhand on 18 May to demand resolution of problems faced by daily workers and Corona frontline workers during Covid pandemic. AICCTU leaders and activists held the dharna in Ranchi at the AICCTU office in Mahendra Singh Bhavan while following all Covid guidelines and norms.

Dharna protests and hunger strikes were organized at industrial units, work places, workers' mohallas, and homes across the State's 16 Districts. AICCTU State General Secretary Shubhendu Sen said that the lockdown in Jharkhand has deepened the livelihood crisis that confronts workers. Closing down of construction work, interference by middlemen in MNREGA, and non-payment of arrears due to workers has pushed the poor to the brink of starvation. If the government does not address these issues without delay, starvation will claim more lives than Corona.

Trade union and CPIML leader Bhuvaneshwar Kewat said that the present Covid deaths in the country are due less to natural disaster and much more to criminal negligence. Central and State governments are responsible for the deaths of frontline workers who are deprived of insurance, special allowance and adequate safety arrangements.

A memorandum to Chief Minister Hemant Soren was sent with the following demands:

  1. All the poor and workers' families should be provided rations of 10 kg rice per person plus dals, sugar and other essentials; Rs 10000 should be credited in workers' bank accounts as Corona relief.
  2. 200 days' work and Rs 500 minimum daily wage under MNREGA for all rural and urban poor; insurance, special allowance and guarantee of safety arrangements for Corona frontline workers.
  3. Mobile Health Facility for ensuring better health facilities for those living in workers' localities.

It should be noted that that the announcement of lockdown and health safety week has created a deep crisis for daily wage earners. As a result, even parties in alliance with CM Hemant Soren are questioning his work style.