First All India Trade Union of Forest Working People – AIUFWP

SM Fasiullah for Beyondheadlines

National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW) has transformed into a union at a conference held from 3-5th June at Town Hall in Puri, Odisha – becoming the first all India trade union of forest working people.

Participants at the founding conference of the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) pledged to take forest rights movement and the struggle of 150 million people of the forest based communities to a “new direction”.

The newly formed union, which takes inspiration from Babasaheb Ambedkar, Karl Marx, Bhagat Singh, Savitribai Phule, Birsa Munda and Aiyyankali, plans to intensify its demands for ownership rights on forest land and natural resources. First All India Trade Union of Forest Working People – AIUFWP

People from the forest community belonging to 20 states of India, who came together at the Puri conference, intend to take women in leadership and ensure their participation in all aspects of the struggle.

While opposing the privatization of natural resources, AIUFWP plans to fight against this and for the rights of the forest working community by uniting with movements across South Asia and the rest of the world.

The union also plans to propagate a democratic way of functioning and strive towards ensuring livelihood, social and political security for forest working people.

Meanwhile, AIUFWP strongly opposes capitalism, Brahminism and patriarchy, and envisions a just society with equal rights – towards which it plans to work.

“Through our struggles we are demanding the withdrawal of national and international companies from acquiring our land, forests and water”, says AIUFWP.

“Along with this we are also working towards the gram sabhas (Village Councils) getting control over natural resources.”

In addition, the union calls on all progressive and democratic forces to unite to create another world belonging to the working people rather than the ruling classes.

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