Pakistan: National meeting of PTUDC in Lahore

On March 24 the PTUDC (Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign) held a meeting in Lahore, which was attended by more than 300 PTUDC leaders and members who came from all over the country.

On March 24 the PTUDC (Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign) held a meeting in Lahore, which was attended by more than 300 PTUDC leaders and members who came from all over the country. The meeting was presided by the president of the PTUDC and Member of the National assembly of Pakistan, Chaudry Manzoor Ahmed. Those taking part in the debate made some very harsh criticisms of the Government and its attacks on the trade unions and the working class.

The speakers who addressed the meeting said that the ruling class is privatising all the important utilities and industrial units and complexes just to cover its expenses, which it spends on lavish goods and luxuries. The present dictatorship has thrown more than 300,000 workers and labourers into the merciless jaws of joblessness. And as if that were not enough, in order to stop poor workers from agitating against these policies, the Government is using harsh methods like expulsions, punishment transfers, show cause notices and ruthless inquiries.

The central information secretary of the PIA, Sheikh Majeed, said that the unity of the working class is the only way of stop their destitution. He further said that this system is based on profit and capitalist greed, and unless we change the system through a socialist revolution we won't be able to get rid off the oppression, deprivation and other cruel actions. And that is only possible if we, the working class, join our hands together and build a Marxist revolutionary party. He said that soon we are going to build action committees and a convention would be called in Lahore in which we will develop a strategy against this ruthless action of the state against the working class.

In the build up to Mayday the speakers said that a collective struggle of the working class could change their lives in a positive way, and in order to get rid off this inhuman system the working class would have to put all their efforts into changing the system with a collective struggle based on the Marxist idea of socialist revolution.

It was decided in the meeting that Mayday would be celebrated in all the cities of Pakistan, in one place in each city with one point on the agenda. To meet this target it was unanimously decided that all trade unions shall be contacted and a campaign would be aimed at the workers to get them to support our Mayday programme as we have planned it. It was also agreed that this day would be celebrated as the day of unity and irreconcilable collective struggle of the workers for socialist revolution.

Female YFIS supporters led the protest in Bahaudinzakriya University (April 2)

The speakers said that the ruling class is sucking the blood of the working class on the instructions of the IMF and the World Bank. The General Secretary of the PTUDC, Comrade Shahida Jabeen, explained that the working class runs this system by bearing all the difficulties, agonies and grief. But in return they don’t even earn a decent livelihood. Their children are dying due to hunger and disease. They don’t get drinkable water even in this age when science and technology are at their peak. The system is unable to provide them basic necessities of life, not to talk of educational and health facilities.

Comrade Manzoor while addressing the meeting said that the working class is the most powerful class in the universe. But they don’t realize their power. By giving the example, he said that a bulb cannot be lit, a wheel cannot be moved, a telephone bell cannot ring, and a drop of water cannot reach the tap, if the working class does not allow it to be done. The power which lies in the hands of the working class is much more effective than the weapons of the imperialist countries. But the problem is this that the working class does not have the sense of its own power. So being Marxist revolutionaries it is our first duty to make the working class aware that they have the power. We must unite the workers and show them how they can use this power to turn this inhuman system upside down. The day, they, the working class are united and learn how to use the power, that day shall be the last day of their exploitation, deprivation, misery, and agony.

Talking about the recent strike and agitation of the teachers, doctors, students and paramedical staff the meeting unanimously passed a solidarity resolution stating that we agree with their demands and we must join them in their struggle and must win them to the programme of YFIS and the PTUDC. On the questions of the privatisation of FC College Lahore and the movement started by the families of the workers of OGDC (Oil and Gas Development Corporation) ,the meeting said that their demands should be accepted. The meeting also demanded that all railway workers who have been transferred far away from their home stations as a punishment should immediately be transferred back to their home stations.

The meeting was addressed by Comrade Nazar Shah (President Murree Brewery), Comrade Azad Qadri from Rawalpindi, Hameed Khan, Nazar Maingal, Ali Mardan, Waheed Baloch from Balochistan, Mohammad Khan Ahmadani, Comrade Jannat, Comrade Anwar Phanwar, Comrade Naveed Aftab, Iqbal Mir, Akbar Naraijo from Sindh, Comrade Aslam, Comrade Asad Pattafi, Comrade Ilyas Khan from Multan.

The meeting also decided that the membership campaign of the PTUDC should be boosted and a leaflet and poster would be circulated/pasted on Mayday, and that the workers and peasants would be united around a revolutionary programme. Through this building of a Marxist organization this disastrous system can be brought to an end and transformed into a socialist system, where the very concept of destitution and oppression would no longer exist.