ATU Canada stands in solidarity with protesting agricultural workers in India

ATU Canada expresses solidarity with millions of workers protesting in India against a brutal legislation proposal that would deregulate the Indian farming industry and bring untold suffering on to their livelihoods of farmers.

In mid-September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi enacted three different agricultural reform bills that sought to, among other things, loosen rules that have protected the average Indian farmer from large corporate buyers for decades. The bills have been labelled as “death warrants” by union and political leaders in India because of their far-reaching effects on the agricultural industry. Not only this but the unwarranted reforms would lead to the rapid increase in industrialized farming, having a devastating effect on our environment and the food we consume.  

As a response to these destructive decisions, tens of thousands of farmers took to the streets in the months that followed to protest the unjust laws. Since then, the movement has increased to millions and has grown to include workers of all industries throughout India, leading to one of the largest workers’ movements in modern history. 

Protests have been met with violence from the Indian government, however, farmers have been  detained, assaulted and arrested despite engaging  in months of peaceful protests. At times, government officials have gone so far as to deplete protest sites with food, water, or internet service. 

For some ATU Sisters and Brothers who have family in India fighting these battles, this matter is personal. We also stand in solidarity with them and anyone else affected by the actions of the anti-worker Modi government. 

Building better lives for working people in Canada means building better lives for workers all over the world and standing up for their right to peaceful protest.

As fellow workers, we cannot and should never stand for events that lead to the disenfranchisement of our Sisters and Brothers a world over. We wholeheartedly condemn the actions of the Indian government and call on all people, workers, government officials and leaders to join us in our condemnation.

In Solidarity,  

John Di Nino, President

ATU Canada