The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Struggle against Privatisation of Airports will go on
The Polit Bureau congratulates the 22,000 employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for their united and determined strike struggle against the privatization of the Delhi and Mumbai airports. The strike has been withdrawn by the Joint Forum of employees after talks and a written assurance by the Minister for Civil Aviation. The Government has agreed to set-up a tripartite committee to look into the proposals for modernising airports by the AAI and job security for the employees. The UPA government has refused to concede their main demand that the AAI be allowed to modernize these two airports.
The Polit Bureau condemns the police action in Delhi and Mumbai airports against the striking employees in the late night of 3rd February. This is contrary to the assurance to the Left leaders by the Civil Aviation Minister that no repressive measures will be adopted.
The government has adopted an adamant and unreasonable attitude in pushing for privatization of airports. The AAI is a profitable public sector enterprise fully capable of modernising the airports in India. The NCMP has promised that profitable public sector enterprises will not be privatized. Contrary to this, the Government has taken the first major step in this direction with the AAI.
The Polit Bureau condemns the Government for its brazen policy of privatization of a strategic sector. Further, it has gone about the privatization in a manner which is questionable. The whole process of bidding and determining who should get the contracts was vitiated.
There can be serious consequences because of this ill-thought action. The CPI(M) assures the employees, workers and officers of the AAI that the battle against privatization and for their rights is not over. It will have to be conducted in various forums and renewed struggles have to be waged in the coming days.
The Polit Bureau will discuss the matter in its meeting to be held on February 9 and 10 and decide what steps are to be taken.