December 12, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Calgary, CA: Alberta Union of Labour Relations Professionals (AULReP) has extended solidarity and support for farmers struggle against new farm laws in India.
Full text of statement issued by Alberta Union of Labour Relations Professionals (AULReP) reads as follows:-
Alberta Union of Labour Relations Professionals (AULReP) firmly express its solidarity with the over 250 million kisaans (farmers) and workers who have been on strike and have taken various peaceful actions in India against the Government of India’s capitalist reforms. AULReP also firmly condemns the violent repression of kisaans, workers, and trade unionists in India by the Indian government and its armed forces.
These pro-capitalist laws will destroy farming communities and will allow private corporations to exploit farmers and workers for profit. The laws will push more farmers into debt who will then be forced to sell their livelihoods to large private businesses and corporations. This will further increase the already alarming rates of farmer suicides in India.
Kisaans and workers are also fighting anti-labour laws that were recently passed in India. The new laws will undermine social security and pensions, will negatively impact workers wages, and the industrial relations changes will undermine unions and workers rights to organize.
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As unionists, we recognize the importance of international solidarity and how these reforms will have both domestic and global implications. The issue of food security and sovereignty is at the forefront of these strikes. These laws will put more power into the hands of multinational corporations that can and will dictate global prices for agricultural products.
There are numerous examples where pro-market farm laws have led to declines in the bargaining power of farmers and workers. In countries where minimum support prices or single selling grain desks have been dismantled, farming incomes and family farms have both declined. In countries that have passed anti-worker and anti-union laws, workers have experienced significant reduction in their bargaining power which has led to a reduction of workers’ wages for both union and non-union workers.
⊕ Also Read ~ Canada’s National Farmers Union Stands in Solidarity with Farmers Protesting New Agricultural Laws in India
The struggle of kisaans and workers against capitalism and climate change has been brewing for decades and has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the recent violent attacks on farmers, there are genuine fears of more violence by the Government of India. Decades of genocidal violence against Sikhs took place in Punjab, which was a consequence of the 1970’s Punjab farmers movement. This movement was led by Sikhs who were asking for more autonomy for the Punjab state to dictate its own agricultural and economic policies.
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The current Prime Minister of India, Narenda Modi, has a history of using the state to commit violence on marginalized groups and workers. As Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Modi has presided over the violent attacks and pogroms against Muslims and his current human rights violations in Kashmir are ongoing. We want Modi and the Government of India to know that the world is watching and as unionists we will always stand in solidarity with kisaans and the workers of India.
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Related Topics: Farmers Protests 2020, Farmers' Issues and Agrarian Crisis in Punjab, Farmers' Struggle, Human Rights