Central for Indian Trade Union (CITU) president A.K. Padmanabhan has said the union has taken steps to strengthen political awareness among its cadres and to correct the wrong practices, if any, among workers.

Speaking at a ‘meet the press' programme here on Wednesday, Mr. Padmanabhan said the CITU could not accept the practice of loading and unloading workers accepting ‘nokku kooli’ or wages for just watching things being loaded or unloaded. He said ‘nokku kooli’ was a wrong practice which could not be accepted by any trade union.

The CITU had taken steps to create awareness among its members and to correct the mistakes, he said.

To another question on the incident of hartal-supporters garlanding a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus driver with footwear at Cherthala on Tuesday, Mr. Padmanabhan said the incident should be treated as an exemption. Garlanding somebody with chappals was not required for launching an agitation, he said.

Calling for strengthening the unity among the Central trade unions in the country, the CITU leader said strong agitation had to be launched against attempts to deprive the working class of its rights earned through long struggles. The workers were being denied even the right to organise, he said adding that the CITU could not accept the idea of any special trade union-free industrial zones.

At present nine Central trade unions, including the Indian National Trade Union Congress, were joining hands on common issues affecting the working class, he said.

Mr. Padmanabhan said the CITU membership had grown from 48 lakh to 51 lakh over the past three years. In the next one year, the focus would be to organise awareness campaign among its members to increase their political awareness.

Keywords: CITUnokku koolihartal