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Beedi workers threaten to intensify stir in Nizamabad

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FRAYED TEMPERS: Beedi workers at the public meeting organised at the Government Polytechnic College grounds in Nizamabad on Saturday.
FRAYED TEMPERS: Beedi workers at the public meeting organised at the Government Polytechnic College grounds in Nizamabad on Saturday.

Staff Reporter

Seek withdrawal of G.O. issued by Centre to print danger mark on packs

  • `Afraid of G.O., beedi units plan to close down'
  • Lakhs will lose jobs if units close down: leaders

    NIZAMABAD: Leaders of the Andhra Pradesh Beedi Workers' Joint Action Committee on Saturday said they would intensify the struggle of the beedi workers unless the G.O. 297/2003 issued by the Government of India to print danger mark (skull and cross bones) on each beedi bundle from February 2007 was not withdrawn.

    Addressing a well attended public meeting of beedi workers at the Government Polytechnic College grounds here, JAC senior leader V. Krishna felt the new G.O. was detrimental to the beedi industry on which over 1.50 crore people depended directly or indirectly in the country.

    Afraid of the G.O., managements of beedi factories were reluctant to manufacture beedis and were thinking of closing down the units. If the units were closed down lakhs of workers (3 lakhs in Nizamabad alone) would be rendered jobless, he said.

    `Why restrictions?'

    Another senior leader A.S. Posetty said so far there was no complaint of death due to beedi smoking. People died of consumption of country made liquor, whisky and gutka, but never died of beedi smoking, he argued.

    "This is very unfortunate. When there are no restrictions on liquor, gutka and soft drink consumption why should they be on beedi?" he questioned stating that if restrictions continued on beedi industry the unemployment problem would further be aggravated.

    An estimated 50,000 womenfolk from different parts of the district attended the public meeting. Earlier, they reached the venue in procession. JAC leader Siddhiramulu also spoke.


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