Staff Correspondent

‘First such convention of trade unions after Independence'

BELLARY: A national-level convention of nine trade unions is being organised in New Delhi on July 25 to discuss price rise of essential commodities, proper implementation of labour laws, contract labour, strengthening of the public distribution system, and issues pertaining to the unorganised sector.

S. Prasanna Kumar, State unit general gecretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said that this might be the first time after Independence when all nine trade unions, including CITU, the All India Trade Union Congress, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, the Indian National Trade Union Congress and the All India United Trade Union Centre, would be participating in a convention to chalk out a plan of action to protect the interests of the general public and the working class.

Sky-rocketing prices of essential commodities had hit the common man hard and yet no steps had being taken by the Union or State governments, Mr. Kumar charged, adding that the prices in Karnataka were higher due to the tax component.

Strongly opposing the contract labour system, Mr. Kumar accused the State Government of violating the Contract Labour Act. He alleged that the Government had been appointing people on contract basis even for round-the-year jobs.

Mr. Kumar said that Rs. 20 crore was earmarked by the State Government in the current year's Budget, which was highly inadequate, and demanded that at least Rs. 1,000 crore be given.