Workers of a private sponge iron manufacturing unit in Hassan marked May Day by launching an indefinite dharna here against the factory management.

The workers, supported by the Hassan chapter of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), began their dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner's office demanding salary revision, release of bonus and implementation of other employment-friendly measures.

Around 100 workers of the Haryana Iron and Steel Industry, located at Kanchanahalli, near here, alleged that the management had neglected workers' welfare. Their salary had not been revised for years and bonus was not paid regularly, they said, and added that the agitating workers were not allowed to enter the factory premises.

The workers started a protest outside the factory on April 11. Later, the Department of Labour intervened and suggested to the management to respond to the workers' demands positively.

Dharmesh, general secretary of the CITU unit, alleged that the management had not responded to the department's suggestion. “Most of the workers are Dalits from Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. They have been working for a meagre salary for the last many years. Those who demanded a salary hike have been removed from the factory,” he said.

The protesters are now demanding that the Deputy Commissioner intervene and direct the factory management to fulfil their demands.

Earlier, the protesters took out a rally.

Keywords: May Day

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