They wanted the government to raise the minimum wage to Rs. 10,000 a month

As part of a nationwide call to demand higher wages and other benefits for workers, more than 200 members from various trade unions in the district staged a “Jail bharo” protest here on Wednesday.

The protesters were taken into custody and released a few minutes later. B. Madhava, CITU State Unit president, said that with prices of essential commodities increasing, the government should raise the minimum wage to Rs. 10,000 a month. “The price of rice, other cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits, and other essential items have gone through the roof making life very difficult for the poor people.

Even the current minimum wage of Rs. 6,000 a month is not enough. Making it Rs. 10,000 would allow workers and their families to eat enough,” he said.

He demanded that the grains “rotting” in government storage should be released, so that it “feeds people and not mice”.

The protesters blamed policy decisions by the Union and State governments for the high inflation.

The organisations warned that if their demands were not met, they would call a two-day nationwide strike on February 20 and 21.

The Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), the Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), and the Dakshin Railway Employees Union (DREU) participated in the protest.

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