Strike divide dogs Citu - CPM looks at middle path on IT hub

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  • Published 8.12.06

Calcutta, Dec. 8: The CPM state committee will try to work out a middle path on enforcing the December 14 strike in Salt Lake’s Sector V when it meets on Sunday.

Citu, the party’s labour arm that is spearheading the nation-wide strike called by Left trade unions, is divided on exempting the state’s IT hub.

The central Citu leadership has refused to consider the IT-ITES sector an essential service and declined to keep it out of the strike’s purview. But the state Citu is speaking in disjointed voices.

“In this backdrop, the party and Citu may not exempt the IT sector from the strike. But we will not go out to enforce the strike in the state IT hub. We will leave it to the IT employees to decide,’’ a Citu leader and CPM state committee member said.

On December 12, Citu will officially unveil the list of industries to be kept out of the strike.

State Citu president Shyamal Chakraborty supports chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s stand that bandhs or strikes in the tech hub would harm the state’s efforts to turn Calcutta into a favoured destination for global IT majors.

Chakraborty, who also wears the hat of chief adviser to the newly-formed West Bengal Information Technology Services Association (Itsa), a Citu-sponsored organisation of IT employees, has given enough indications that the Citu state leadership would not like to shut down offices in Sector V on December 14.

“The state IT sector is still in a nascent stage. The state government is pinning its hopes on the sector’s job-generating capacities. Itsa has also begun to gain confidence among IT employees. Let there be strikes in other IT centres like Bangalore, Hyderabad or Gurgaon first. We would like to learn from them,’’ he said.

Citu state secretary Kali Ghosh, however, echoed the union’s national president, M.K. Pandhe, and general secretary Chittabrata Mazumdar.

“We will not consider the IT-ITES an essential service, neither do we support the exemption of the 24x7 ITES operations from the strike,” Ghosh said.

He added that Citu would not coerce workers to join the strike but expects them to come out on the streets in support of the “right cause”.