Participating in the country-wide demonstrations to demand better protection for the work force, the district units of all trade unions staged a demonstration in front of the Head Post Office and courted arrest here on Tuesday.

Although, all the 11 central trade unions have called for jail bharo at the national-level, the district units of the Congress-affiliated Indian National Trade Union Congress and the Hind Mazdoor Sangh did not participate in Tuesday's demonstration.

The Communist party of India (Marxist) district unit secretary B. Madhava said despite numerous protests in the past, action had not been taken to enforce labour rights.

Although there was an act to abolish contract labour in jobs that were of permanent nature, the government itself did not pay heed to it, he said. The government undertakings such as BSNL and other companies were employing workers on a contract basis for jobs that were of permanent nature.

Mr. Madhava said in accordance with the present status of spiralling prices, there was a need to fix minimum wages at Rs. 10,000 a month for workers of all sectors across the country. This was the first time that the demand had been made on an All-India level, he added.

There was a necessity to provide social security to workers in the unorganised sector. Although the government had made several drafts to form a law, nothing concrete had shaped up so far, he said. The Communist Party of India-affiliated All India Trade Union Congress leader Shekar, and the Bharatiya Janata Party-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh district unit leader Vishwanath Shetty spoke.

After the leaders spoke, the demonstrators sat down and refused to leave the spot. All the demonstrators were escorted to buses and the police vans by the police personnel and released later.

Keywords: labour rights

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