Trade unions espousing the cause of the contract workmen of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation took out a rally at Neyveli on Monday, urging the management to annul the pact signed with the Labour Progressive Front (LPF) and to concede their 10-point charter of demands.
Spearheaded by the NLC Jeeva Oppantha Thozhilalar Sangam, affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress, the contract workmen belonging to trade union wings of the political parties such as the Pattali Makkal Katchi, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Communist parties and the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam joined hands in the struggle.
Among other things they were demanding equal pay for equal and regularisation of service.
M.Sekar, district secretary of the AITUC, said that the pact hurriedly signed by the LPF was illegal.
He alleged that it was a political attempt to divide the contract workmen and certainly not a bid to establish their rights.
Hence, the trade unions were urging the NLC management to scrap the pact and arrive at a fair and just wage package in consultation with them.
Meanwhile, district-level leaders of the political parties, excluding the DMK, held an indoor meeting at the initiative of T.Velmurugan, PMK MLA, at Neyveli on Monday.
It was learnt that they had decided to organise a rally and a public meeting on October 13 in support of the striking workmen.
The workers' strike entered 23rd day on Monday. The NLC sources said the power generation was maintained in the region of 2,200 MW, against the full capacity of 2,490 MW.
The sources said that after the LPF signed the wage pact about 2,000 contract workmen started reporting for duty from the second shift (2 p.m. to 10 p.m.) on Sunday.