CITU Organises Massive Picketing in Tamilnadu

S P Rajendran

DEMANDING implementation of seven-point charter of demands, members from various unorganised sectors affiliated to the CITU staged a massive picketing across Tamilnadu on June 9. More than 50,000 workers were arrested.
Picketing the labour offices and central and state government offices in all districts, the agitators chanted slogans demanding the government to implement the minimum wages of Rs15,000 per month, pension of Rs 4,000 to tailors and to protect the workforce in a changing industrial scenario where many labour laws were being amended to benefit the employers.
The NDA government at the centre was keen on handing over railways, insurance, bank, port and communication to private sector and the apprehensions of the workforce stood vindicated, the leaders of the CITU said and urged the government to stop resorting to hike in petroleum products every fortnight.
They alleged that the Narendra Modi led union government was bent on withdrawing various rights of the working class. The government, despite being in power for the last one year, has not taken any step to contain the raise in the prices of essential commodities, which has badly hit all sections of society. The government was evincing keen interest to promote multinational companies, totally ignoring the interests of the local micro and small scale units.
The CITU has been demanding that Rs 1.15 lakh crore be allotted for the benefit of the unorganised sector workers, but the NDA government was maintaining a stoic silence.
Referring to the functioning of the AIADMK government in the state, the leaders said that it continued to ignore the interests of workers employed with transport, Tangedco, TWAD Board, cooperatives, mines, and of the anganwadi workers.
The state government has so far not conceded the just demands such as eight hour work, minimum wages, legal protection, pension, and regularisation of service.
They also demanded scrapping of Road Safety Bill 2014, desisting from formulating labour laws suiting corporate companies, abolition of the new pension scheme and restoration of the old one, control of prices of essential commodities, social security for workers in unorganised sector, fixing Rs 4,000 as minimum pension, better functioning of welfare boards, and granting of maternity leave.
A Soundararajan, MLA, state president of CITU led the stir in North Chennai. G Sugumaran, state general secretary led in South Chennai and Malathi Chittibabu, state treasurer addressed the agitators in Madurai. Assistant general secretaries of Tamilnadu CITU, R Karumalyan, V Kumar and K Thiruselvan led respectively at Nagarcoil, Salem and Cuddalore.
At many places, the police forcibly tried to prevent the picketing. However they failed due to a massive turnout of workers in various centers including Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchi, Tiruppur, Coimbatore and Dindigul.
Workers in transport, electricity, water supply, cooperative, rural development, railway, loadmen, construction workers, and auto drivers affiliated to CITU took part in the statewide protest.

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