The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Saturday demanded an amendment to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, to increase minimum wages to at least Rs. 10,000 per month.
The organisation criticised the State government for stopping distribution of foodgrains to APL cardholders after implementation of the Anna Bhagya scheme.
Anganwadi workers and contract workers serving in various government departments took out a procession under the banner of CITU from Sardar High School ground to the Deputy Commissioner’s office, where they staged a dharna. They submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister.
The CITU leaders said while they welcomed the implementation of the Anna Bhagya scheme for BPL cardholders, it was unfair to halt the distribution of foodgrains to APL cardholders. The government should instead universalise the public distribution system (PDS), CITU leaders said.
CITU district president V.P. Kulkarni said the State governments were mimicking the Centre by pursuing privatisation and globalisation policies. The services in anganwadis have already been privatised, the supply of midday meals to schoolchildren outsourced and accredited social health activists were engaged for a meagre honorarium, he said.
Earlier CITU honorary district president C.A. Kharade, president Girish Shetty and general secretary G.M. Jainekhan said 20 demands were placed before the Chief Minister by CITU leaders on May 22 and again on June 14 before the budget was announced, howeverthe government failed to make any commitment in the budget proposals for 2013–14.
The demands also included amendment to the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, housing for the homeless, implementation of provisions under the Labour Act, and packages for workers who lose jobs due to accidents. The CITU leaders also demanded that insurance schemes be implemented through Labour departments only.