‘Frequent hikes in petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG prices are burdening the common man’

Members of five trade unions and BSNL, insurance and postal employees unions participated in the general strike and took out a massive rally from Kadapa Municipal Corporation to Kadapa Collectorate carrying hundreds of flags on Wednesday.

‘Lopsided’ policies

AITUC State Secretary Pavani, CITU secretary Dhanalakshmi, BMS State Secretary Easwari and LIC Employees Union divisional secretary Subhasekhar said the two-day nationwide general strike had been called to protest against the ‘lopsided’ policies of the UPA government at the Centre and the Congress government in the State.

The government is exploiting workers by filling the regular vacancies with contractual and outsourced workers, they said. Stating that they lacked minimum wages, they demanded a monthly salary of Rs. 10,000 for contractual and outsourced workers.

Alleging the tardy implementation of labour laws, they deplored the skyrocketing prices of all the commodities. Corruption is ruling the roost and frequent hikes in petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG prices are burdening the common man, they alleged. The trade union and employees’ unions burnt effigies of the UPA and Congress governments in the Centre and the State.

They demanded dropping of disinvestment proposals in Public Sector Undertakings, job security for unorganised workers, regularisation of contractual and outsourced workers, equal pay for equal work, bonus, Provident Fund and pension facilities. Postal employees staged a dharna before Kadapa head post office.

CPI district secretary G. Easwaraiah, CPI (M) city secretary N. Ravisankar Reddy, TDP State Secretary S. Goverdhan Reddy, Rythu Seva Sangham president S. Ramachandra Reddy, LIC Pensioners Association secretary K. Sankara Rao, GIC Employees Union secretary Satyanarayana, leaders of INTUC, AITUC, CITU, TNTUC, YSRTUC and BMS and rythu saghams participated.

The general strike by trade union and employees organisations disrupted work in the banking, insurance and transport sectors across the district on Wednesday.

Auto rickshaws stayed off the road causing inconvenience to commuters in the city.

The supporters of various trade unions took out a rally from Zilla Parishad to the Collectorate and staged a demonstration. CITU, AITUC, INTUC, BMS, All India United Trade Union Council (AIUTUC), bank and insurance employees associations took part in the protest.

CPI (M) leader M.A. Gafoor, Gouse Desai, Radhakrishna, Manikyam Manohar, Ramana, Naganna and others led the protest. Addressing the meeting, the leaders urged the government to withdraw the disinvestment proposals in the public sector, revise the law governing unorganised sector workers, fix Rs. 10,000 as minimum pay, regularise the services of casual workers, reduce the prices of electricity and control price line. The leaders accused the UPA government of taking an anti-worker stand to face the economic crisis. The gates leading to the Collectorate were closed for a few hours preventing visitors from entering the office complex.

The two-day All India General Strike called by the Trade Unions has badly impacted the working of the banks, insurance companies and Central government establishments in the temple town of Tirupati and in Chittoor district as well.

Sloganeering

Worst hit, as expected, were the banking and the insurance sectors besides BSNL and other central establishments as their staff boycotted duties and took out a rally through the streets shouting anti-UPA slogans and denouncing its anti-people and anti-trade union policies.

Bank employees under the aegis of the United Forum of Bank Unions numbering around 350 held a dharna before the SBH Main Branch. Leaders of all political parties and their trade unions took part in the rally and the dharna. Two MLCs—Vithapu Balasubramanyam and Y. Srinivasulu Reddy, who along with leaders of other parties led the CITU rally and dharna, lashed out at the Congress for unprecedented levels of corruption. At the Railway Carriage Repair Shop, Renigunta, workers under the banner of the South Central Railways Employees Sangh boycotted duties and staged a dharna before the complex opposition new pension policy, uniform pension policy, cadre re-structuring.