All trade unions will join hands for a nation-wide demonstration on October 28 to protest rise in the price of essential commodities, said T.K.Ranagarajan, MP and All India Vice-President of Centre of Indian Trade Union, on Sunday.

Addressing a conference of contract workers organised by the Tiruchi district unit of CITU, Mr. Rangarajan vested with the trade unions the responsibility of determining the extent of population to which the benefits of the country’s economic progress has reached.

The contract system of employment, he felt, was a way for employers to exploit the working class taking advantage of the glut situation. Calling for permanency of workers, he urged the Central and State Governments to provide all essential commodities through the public distribution system.

Representatives of contract workers in Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Ordnance Factory, Heavy Alloy Penetrator Factory, Aavin, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, and Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation took part in the conference that was also addressed by the district unit secretary of CPM S. Sridhar, and CITU district unit president V.V. Krishnamoorthy, who presided over.

CITU district unit secretary R. Raja presented the report at the conference that was inaugurated by Ponmudi one of the State-level secretaries of CITU.

Adopting resolutions, the conference called for enactment of new laws to factor in the provisions of ‘The Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishment Status to Workman Act – 1981’ for the welfare of contract workers; and treating non-conformity to minimum wages act by employers as a criminal offence. The conference called for provision of identity cards for contract workers and appropriate law for making them eligible for ESI, PF, EL, and CL benefits.

Another resolution said that for those under various categories of temporary employment like daily wage, piece rate, apprentice and outsourcing, the following minimum demands must be fulfilled by employers in government and private establishments: job permanency for workers who have 240 days of attendance; fixation of minimum monthly wage of Rs. 10,000; eight hours of work; ESI, PF, EL, PL and national holidays; specialised treatment for heart and kidney ailments; 20 per cent yearly bonus; house rent allowance, transport allowance, and children’s education allowance.