Workers hold rallies to protest government policies


Chennai : Various central trade unions Wednesday held protest meetings across the country against price rise, retrenchment and divestment in public sector undertakings (PSU), and demanded proper implementation of labour laws.

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“Lunch hour gate meetings at various factories and offices across the state (Tamil Nadu) were held. Across the country, such meetings were held depending on convenience of the state and district units,” A. Soundararajan, general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), told IANS.

In Chennai, workers in large numbers gathered at three locations in the evening and held demonstrations to press their demands, he said.

The major unions that joined the protests are CITU, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS).

However, the DMK-affiliated trade union Labour Progressive Front did not participate in the joint action.

When contacted, LPF general secretary M. Shanmugam said the fron was not invited by other trade unions for the joint action.

“We were not invited for the joint action despite being a central trade union. The central trade unions is a club of five that behave like big brothers,” Shanmugam told IANS.

A.K. Padmanabhan, national secretary of CITU, said workers were at the receiving end since 1990 with the governments turning a blind eye to issues of minimum wages, working conditions and right of workers to form unions.

Referring to a recent strike by around 100,000 workers in Gurgaon near New Delhi, he said: “Workers are now realising the importance of their right to form unions and address issues that affect them.”