After Karnataka, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) — the CPI(M)’s trade union wing — has set up a separate organisation for migrant returnees in West Bengal.
The trade union had recently set up a 67-member preparatory committee to form this new outfit, which has been named the West Bengal Migrant Workers’ Union (WBMWU). The Left party is hoping that this organisation will help it consolidate the votes of these workers in next year’s Assembly elections.
“Their problems are unique and will increase even after this corona episode gets over. So, we formed a separate organisation to stand with our migrant workers in the state,” said a senior CPI(M) and CITU leader.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has started a scheme called “Sneher Parash” for such workers, and directed district administrations to give them jobs under the MGNREGA scheme and rations even if they do not have ration cards. However, according to the trade union, in many districts hundreds of migrant workers are stuck here without jobs, unable to return to the states where they were working before the pandemic.
The decision to float this new outfit was taken after this caused unrest in many areas .
“In the time of lockdown, migrant workers are in a terrible situation. The Central and state governments did not address their problems. So, we have decided to stand by them and build a movement to help realise their demands,” said WBMWU organisational secretary Jamir Mollah, adding that more than 20,000 worker have become the member of the new group.
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