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16 April, 2014As a gesture of solidarity for the struggling workers of the Paharpur cooling towers, 117 workers of the GRSE workmen’s union in Kolkata donated their blood at a temporary Blood Donation Camp.
On 3 April, GRSE Workmen’s Union organised a Blood Donation Camp at their union office. The blood was sold to a Blood Bank and the money will go towards the struggle fund of the Paharpur workers.
Management of Paharpur has dismissed the five trade union activists speaking up on the company’s gross violation of workers’ rights. There had been no wage increase for the last 15 years and the canteen facility had been discontinued.
On 4 April, Workers’ initiative, a common platform of independent trade unions in Kolkata, organised a meeting with the striking workers. The gathering was addressed by Petra Brännmark, communications director IndustriALL Global Union, Sudhershan Rao Sarde, IndustriALL South Asia regional secretary, S M Fahimuddin Pasha, education officer and Shahnaz Rafique, coordinator, both from IndustriALL South Asia, as well as Kamal Tewary, president of Paharpur Cooling Towers Mazdoor Sabha. Speakers supported the cause of the struggling workers.
Sudhershan Rao Sarde, IndustriALL South Asia regional secretary, stated:
“I will raise the struggle of the workers in the India Committee of IndustriALL Global Union for solidarity action, and also appeal to all fraternal organisations to extend solidarity for the struggling workers.”
A two day strike planned for 9 and 10 April has been deferred to 22 and 23 April, to provide the management of Paharpur with more time to find a just resolution for the workers.