Tasmac employee groups are hitting the streets to press for a raft of demands, including job permanency, better pay structure and revocation of sales targets.
On Tuesday, members of CITU- backed Tasmac Uzhiyar Manila Sanmelanam (TUMS) spilled on to Rukmani Lakshmipathy Salai in Egmore, along with their families, for a rally. On Wednesday, members of Tamil Nadu Tasmac Paniyalargal Sangam (TNTPS), attached to AITUC, are expected to stage an agitation at Chepauk.
The protests, which follow many others in recent months across Tamil Nadu, reiterate long-standing demands. “At present, 28,650 workers, recruited on a temporary basis, man the Tasmac outlets across the State. Without any service register and rules for them, this vast group is denied even basic benefits. As the outlets are understaffed, the majority of them go without weekly offs,” said D. Dhanasekaran, general secretary of TNTPS.
“These workers are not covered by the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishment Act, and as a result, they end up having 12-hour days without any overtime pay,” said K. Thiruselvan, general secretary, TUMS.
“The current pay structure is poor with a supervisor drawing a monthly income of Rs. 5,500, a salesman Rs. 4,000 and an assistant salesman Rs. 3,000,” said Mr. Dhanasekaran.
The groups also appealed for reinstatement of Tasmac workers suspended for selling liquor above MRP prices on a humanitarian basis. “Those who sold liquor at extra-MRP rates, ranging from Rs. 2 to Rs. 5, have been taken back. Even others, who sold liquor at even higher rates, should be reinstated at the earliest,” said Mr. Dhanasekaran. “We don’t justify their act, but only seek clemency.”
Other demands include “a fair inquiry into charges of adulteration and an end to penalties for bottle breakages that are a result of improper loading and handling.”