A.K. Padmanabhan, president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), has called upon the trade unions across the political spectrum to forge an issue-based unity to put up a common front to solve the problems faced by the working class.

Addressing a May Day meeting here on Saturday, Mr. Prabhakaran said unity moves among trade unions could be seen in many areas concerning people in general — for instance, in the common struggle against price rise. Now, the efforts towards setting up a common platform should be strengthened.

Mr. Padmanabhan said the trade union laws were given scant regard in most States, Kerala being an exception, and the workers were denied the right to organise themselves. The unions could join hands in the fight against this denial of right.

He said the recent Central regulations to bring in social security measures for labourers in the unorganised sectors would not serve their purpose. The trade unions had proposed amendments to make these more effective. But the Centre had not been accepted their suggestions so far.

Vaikom Viswan, convener of the Left Democratic Front, and K.J. Thomas, district secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), spoke.

Earlier, the CITU activists took out a May Day rally from the police parade grounds to the municipal grounds at Thirunakkara.

Activists of the All India Trade Union Congress took out a rally in the town. V.B. Binu, State secretary of the union, inaugurated the rally.