Staff Reporter

Union accuses the UPA of reviving zamindari system

Asks the Government to amend Bonus Act

Demands reversion of Sethusamudram project

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh’s recent national Steering Committee and Executive Committee meeting at Nagpur has put forth six main demands, including the total repeal of the Special Economic Zones Act 2005, before the UPA Government.

If no action was taken in the interregnum, BMS will organize a dharna at Parliament from the second day of the winter session, State Vice-Pesidents M. Jagadiswara Rao and A. Sita Kumar have said.

Addressing a press conference with District President K. Bhavani Sankarudu here on Wednesday, they detailed the resolutions passed. Opposing SEZs, they said it would mean a revival of the ‘zamindari’ system, carving out foreign territories with no labour laws and depriving farmers and agricultural labourers of livelihood.

Mr. Jagadiswara Rao deplored the reported ad hoc measures to meet the long-pending demand for a comprehensive act for the welfare of the 35 crore unorgansied labourers in the country.

The Labour and the Parliamentary Affairs Ministers assured unions in May that the bill would be introduced in the Monsoon session (of the Parliament), he recalled and wanted the promise to be kept.

Demands

He also recalled the assurance of the Prime Minster to unions in August last that the Bonus Act would be amended and the resolution of the Indian Labour Conference to raise the ceiling for payment of bonus.

The BMS demanded raising the ceiling to Rs.10,000 though it was in favour of lifting the ceiling completely.

The BMS leader also demanded that the government revert to the plan approved by the National Democratic Alliance Government for executing the Sethusamudram project and take up a canal and not a channel.

Opposing any damage to the Ramasethu, he said it was not a matter of religious belief alone but scientists were also opposing the plan as it would would damage the ancient bridge.

Eco issues

Besides Defence concerns and livelihood issues, ecological considerations like prevention of tsunami also weighed heavily in favour of the ancient bridge, Mr. Jagadiswara Rao said.

Ms. Sita Kumari said the women’s wing that met on the first day opposed the amendments to the labour laws allowing late night shifts for women.

She also wanted statutory benefits like ESI and PF to be made applicable to the anganwadi workers and said a tribunal in Karnataka favoured it.