Sisters and Brothers,
ATU Local 113 joins our colleagues in Canada’s labour movement in expressing solidarity with millions of agricultural workers in India protesting legislation that would put their livelihoods at risk. The new farm laws, which were enacted last year without any stakeholder engagement or debate, would expose individual farmers directly to the global food industry and international markets and take away the supports and tools for collective action that they have today.
By turning food staples into a financial commodity, these new laws risk driving India’s millions of small farms further into debt, poverty and insecurity while removing a secure source of food for the poor. About 70% of Indians rely on agriculture and the new laws are an unprecedented destabilization of the livelihood and food supply of hundreds of millions of people. The laws are being put forward by the anti-worker Modi government at the request of international corporate interests and the governments of wealthy, western nations.
Millions of farmers and their supporters have maintained protests for months, including ongoing blockades around Delhi. While the protests have been peaceful, the government’s response has not been. Protesters have been met with assault, arrest and detention. The movement has grown to other industries across India and to other countries around the world to become the largest workers’ movement in modern history.
Workers all over the world are being pushed into poverty and insecurity by business interests and the governments that support them. In India as in Canada, we are seeing the goods and services we rely on, like food, shelter or transportation, become commodities for financial speculation for profit. When this happens, prices go up and working people suffer. The only winners are the corporate interests who extract profit.
ATU Local 113 stands in solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters in India. We also stand with our members with family in India for whom this is personal. Your struggle is our struggle. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We call on all people, workers, government officials and leaders to join us and our ATU Brothers and Sisters to wholeheartedly condemn the actions of the Indian government.
President, ATU Local 113