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Friday, June 21, 2013

N F P E Message


It is an admitted fact that our organisation, NFPE, has grown in its strength and in terms of its movements and intervening capacity throughout the country. But there is no room for complacency, given the challenges before and the responsibilities fallen on us. We have to strengthen our organisation further both quantitatively and qualitatively.

In building, running and strengthening a trade union organisation, democratic functioning plays the role of a cornerstone. To put it differently, the source of many of the ills of our organisationlies in the absence of democratic functioning. Therefore the importance of democratic functioning should be clearly understood by everyone of us.

Democratic functioning in essence is to involve the mass of the workers in the decision making process and their implementation. This requires a well knit and functional system of regular contacts and participative communication with the workers at grass root level on the one hand and collective functioning of the leadership team at various tiers of the organization.

To mention a few specifics of democratic functioning of a union are (a) mode of discharging their responsibilities by the leadership (b) attitude while dealing with the rank and file workers (c) relationship between the leadership bodies of the union and general workers, (d) the norms for working of the various committees, (e) collective functioning in the process of decision making and implementation, (f) conducting meeting of the committees and conferences of the union, (g) management of the union fund and maintenance of books of accounts etc. and the last but not least a functional mechanism of communicating with the mass of the workers at grass root level and also hearing from them. Growing bureaucratic practices in the functioning of the Union are creating serious impediments in strengthening democratic functioning in the Unions at some places. Individualistic way of working by some of the leaders and activists promotes bureaucratism within the organisation. To fight such as situation what is needed is to ensure the collective functioning, to and fro communication amongst the leaders, cadres and general workers.

Another vital area of the democratic functioning is the meetings of the Executive committees and office bearers of the union. In some places regular meetings of these bodies are generally not taking place. Attendance is also much below the required level and defaulting comrades are not dealt with according to the norms of democratic discipline. Then again, the meetings are not properly planned. No written report reviewing the developments of the period between the two meetings and status of implementation of the decisions of the previous meeting is placed before the body concerned. Similar is the situation with regard to a written statement of accounts, membership position etc. Holding the union conferences regularly is a very important organizational requirement. Unfortunately, there are instances of conferences not being held regularly, in violation of constitutional provisions. Such failure is bound to have serious organizational problems and weaknesses. For efficient and effective functioning of an organisation the above mentioned deficiencies are to be dealt with seriously.

Finally we must always remember that without imparting trade union education and inculcating trade union consciousness and class consciousness in the cadres and workers the present malices in the unions narrated above cannot be addressed. Whole package of neo-liberal reforms and the philosophy and strategy supporting the same are meticulously designed for marginalizing and weakening the trade union movement. Trade Union is the only social force, which if properly organized can, pose a challenge against the neo-liberal regime and mobilize the people around it. In fact, tackling trade union movement and subordinating the same has always been the life and death question for the capitalist system and in the era of neo-liberal reforms they are much more focused on this goal of theirs with all their ideological and organizational weaponaries at their command. It is therefore, all the more imperative to ideologically empower our leaders and cadres to powerfully counter the onslaughts of the capitalist class.

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