About All India Forum Against Privatisation (AIFAP)
The All India Forum Against Privatisation (AIFAP) was constituted on July 4, 2021 in a Foundation Meeting held on an internet platform. Over forty National Federations of government and public sector workers’ unions, associations as well as people’s organisations had already decided to be members of this Forum. A large number of their leaders addressed the Foundation Meeting and those who were unable to attend conveyed their best wishes. After the Foundation Meeting, more National Federations and Unions have agreed to join the Forum and others will be welcome.
Ever since the Congress led government adopted the LPG (Globalisation through liberalisation and Privatisation) Policy in 1991, various governments at the Centre and in most states have done all they could to implement it. This policy was to the benefit of monopoly capitalists, both Indian and foreign. From the beginning, various organisations of workers, women, farmers and of people had recognised that it would be disastrous for the masses of people and they had done their best to oppose it. Notwithstanding this opposition, all the governments had pushed this policy through and in various sectors they had achieved various levels of success.
The rulers had used a lot of tactics to defeat the people’s opposition. On the one hand private companies were encouraged at the cost of government companies, which were denied permissions, their tenders were delayed, and so on. The case of JIO and BSNL is one of the most glaring. Public and government establishments were starved of funds for capacity expansion and even maintenance and recruitments were stalled for years.
Untrained workers were appointed on contract at miserable wages and were made to slave under terrible working conditions. This had a huge impact on the safety of workers and users alike, and many easily preventable accidents and deaths occurred. Public sector workers were blamed for the inevitable drop in quality of service. They were slandered as lazy, privileged, and so on. Tremendous misinformation was spread in order to blame the public sector workers for the users’ and consumers’ woes.
Government leaders have told outright lies and pushed through privatisation by different means – corporatisation as a first step, PPP (Public Private
Partnership), selling shares, monetisation, and so on.
The aim of the privatisation program is simple: Privatise the profits and let the government (i.e., the people) bear the losses.
Privatisation of both government and public sector enterprises has been further accelerated since 2014 by the BJP led government. Today with new public sector policy announced in 2020, the program of privatisation has reached such a level that no enterprise or service is safe.
The public sector has been built up with the people’s money and by the sweat and blood of generations of the people. It belongs to the people and should serve them!
All of us have realised that the only way for us to stop the steamroller of privatisation is by building a strong, united struggle against it. Workers have
achieved success in halting privatisation or corporatisation in sectors where they have united casting barriers of political and ideological affiliations aside, and where they have taken the support of their own family members and people at large.
The AIFAP has been founded with this important lesson in mind. We urge you to join it and contribute all you can for this worthy cause.
Objectives of AIFAP:
A. To oppose privatisation or steps towards privatisation in any form (partial or complete sale, corporatization, disinvestment, monetization, PPP, etc.) of any asset or enterprise, loss making or profit making, built with public money.
B. To work towards building a united struggle of all sectors against privatisation.
C. To provide a forum for exchange of ideas, information, knowledge about every sector under attack with a view to build solidarity and provide support to each other.
D. To propose and plan solidarity statements and actions.
E. To involve every member, their families and colleagues, as well as friends in our common fight.
F. To involve users/consumers in anti-privatisation struggles by making them aware of harmful consequences of privatisation on the society, particularly considering that workers of one sector are often users/consumers of another.
Guiding philosophy of AIFAP:
“Attack on one is an attack on all.”
The Forum will function democratically. It will not discriminate on the basis of party or union affiliations, ideologies and beliefs, religion, caste, gender, language, region, age, position, or rank.
The Forum will not permit any divisive, abusive or incendiary writings or proposals.
Membership of AIFAP:
Any organization of workers – unions, associations, federations, organization of people, individual workers (currently working or retired) of India or of Indian origin, other Indian people who agree to the objectives of the Forum and are willing to work towards achieving the objectives, wherever they are based, will be welcome irrespective of religion, caste, gender, region, beliefs and ideology.