State conference to be held in Kasaragod from Saturday

The “neoliberal” economic reforms pursued by the Centre, the rising prices and the grim agricultural scene owing to slashing of subsidies, the alleged moves to weaken the small-scale sector and the rising labour unrest in the State are among the issues expected to figure at the State conference of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) here from Saturday.

At a press conference here on Tuesday, P. Karunakaran, MP and organising committee chairman, said the Union and the State governments were pursuing neoliberal economic reforms, leading to an unprecedented price rise, the setback to agriculture and the small-scale sector and unrest among the workforce.

He said elaborate arrangements had been made for the conference, being held for the first time here. As many as 512 delegates from across Kerala would take part in the three-day event.

Expressing concern over the situation in which bus workers and government employees had been forced to resort to strike, P. Raghavan, general secretary of the organising committee, said the CITU, after its meeting, would intensify its agitation to ensure justice for the aggrieved sections. The meeting would evaluate the influx of migrant labourers into the State and the CITU would strive to take up their causes.

CITU national secretary Tapan Sinha, MP, will inaugurate a delegates’ meeting at Sandyaragam Auditorium here at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday. Senior leaders of the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the All India Trade Union Congress, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and the Swatantra Thozhilali Union would attend the function.

Pinarayi Vijayan, State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) would inaugurate a seminar on challenges faced by secularism at 3 p.m. near the new bus station premises. The seminar would be attended by senior political party and trade union leaders, the organising committee members said.

A cultural meet will be inaugurated by Ezhacherry Ramachandran on Sunday. As many as 25,000 activists will take out a rally from Pulikunnu to the new bus station premises on Monday. CITU president A.K. Padmanabhan will then inaugurate a public meeting there.

The CITU members will collect a minimum of Rs. 10 each from households to raise funds for the conduct of the conference. Cultural, arts and sports competitions will be held as part of the meeting.

Flag and flag-post marches will commence from Payyambalam in Kannur at 9 a.m. on January 11 and traverse through various localities to reach Kasaragod on the opening day.

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