A large number of unorganised workers took out a rally in the city on Tuesday demanding, among others, minimum wage of Rs. 6,000 a month.
The rally was organised by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). The protesters raised slogans against price rise and demanded that they be provided shelter.
Addressing the protesters at a public meeting in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner, State unit president of the CITU B. Madhava said that unorganised workers had submitted a memorandum with 10 lakh signatures to the State Government in February. But the Government had failed to respond to it, he said.
He demanded that all 1.5 crore unorganised workers in the State be provided shelter. The Government should earmark Rs. 10,000 crore to provide sites to them, he said. The Government scheme which provides the workers Rs. 40,000 each to build a house was meaningless as most of them did not own a site, he said.
Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was not bothered to increase the minimum wage of the workers despite repeated requests, he said.
Mr. Madhava said the workers would intensify their protest if the Government did not meet their demands.
District unit president of the CITU K.R. Sriyan said that rising prices of essential commodities had made life difficult for the poor workers. They were being paid a minimum wage of Rs. 2,030 to Rs. 2,380 a month. The wage should be increased to Rs. 6,000 immediately, he said.
The CITU also demanded that semi-skilled workers should be given a minimum wage of Rs. 6,900 and skilled workers Rs. 7,800.
When the protesters refused to disperse from the venue after the public meeting, the police took 831 of them, including several women, into custody. However, they were released later.