Journalist Abdulla Mattancherrys Adayalam, which is about the history of the struggle led by the workers of Mattancherry who protested the chappa system of work guarantee which meant whoever got the copper pieces thrown in the air would get work at the Cochin harbour for the day.
The struggle against the inhuman system had begun on July 1, 1953, but ended with the police firing at the protesters on September 15.
Veteran Communist leader M.M. Lawrence released the book, published by Pranatha Books, by handing over the first copy to K.J. Maxi, MLA, at an event at the Ernakulam Press Club.
Mr. Lawrence said that the labour-friendly laws obtained by the workers as a result of long-drawn struggles were being shelved one by one, signalling more onslaught on the workers in the times to come. He said that the country was being governed by those who unleashed untold atrocities against workers. The onus, he said, was therefore on the workers to stand shoulder to shoulder against caste, language and class divides. Would the Congress or the BMS be able to spearhead this struggle? The question would be whether my party [the CPI(M)] would be able to do this? There would be those influenced by capitalist ideals even in my party. To overcome that, decisions should be taken after due discussions along the right path, he said.
Mr. Lawrence said that the Mattancherry firing incident was the creation of the job-givers, not the workers.
John Fernandes, MLA, presided over the function.
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