About 1,500 workers employed by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) for loading and unloading work on Sunday demanded regularisation, basic amenities at depots, identity cards and Provident Fund benefits.
At the general council meeting of the TASMAC Loaders and Unloaders Employees Union held here on Sunday, the members announced their decision to join hands with the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and to seek an appointment with the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to press for the above demands.
Talking to newsmen, INTUC State Secretary and the union's president, K. Elavari said, “These employees have been working for over 20 years in 41 TASMAC depots and their services have not been recognised till date. Besides, their salaries are paid by transport contractors, though TASMAC is the principal employer. While demanding that TASMAC pay salary to them directly, we are also seeking regularisation of their jobs.”
Provident Fund benefits
Mr. Elavari said that 185 people working in six depots in Chennai region would be entitled to Provident Fund benefits from January 2004 to December 2009 as its Regional Commissioner, Ambattur, ordered the Corporation to pay a sum of Rs.99.32 lakh.
“We are still fighting to get PF benefits for the rest of the workers in 35 depots,” he added.
Talking to The Hindu, some of the members said that they are requesting the Corporation to issue identity cards to them to avoid being harassed by the police at night.
While demanding a payment of Rs.1.50 per box as handling charges, until their services are regularised, they said, “We earn about Rs.500 per day, while 60 per cent of our earnings are deducted as handling loss charges. By this way, the Corporation earns about Rs.10 lakh per month. The breakage happens while in transit due to pressure and bad roads. But, it is not our fault''.