As part of an exercise to bring their problems to the attention of the Union government, cashew workers under the banner of the INTUC-affiliated Kerala Cashew Workers Congress (KCWC) will march to Parliament and stage a demonstration there.

KCWC State president V. Sathyaseelan said the march was the third phase of the agitation launched by the KCWC to protect the rights of cashew workers.

As a prelude to the march, a rights campaign jatha led by Mr. Sathyaseelan had started on April 9 from Nooranad in Alappuzha district. The jatha covered 324 cashew factories and will conclude at Chathannur on May 27. In the presence of hundreds of cashew workers, a rights declaration will be made at the Press Club maidan here.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala, UDF convener P.P. Thankachan, and Congress leaders C.V. Padmarajan, Thennala Balakrishna Pillai, M.M. Hassan, Bharatheepuram Sasi, Sooranad Rajashekran, DCC president Pratapavarma Thampan, K.C. Rajan, and Rajmohan Unnithan would attend the event, Mr. Sathyaseelan said.

The main demand is a special package for the cashew sector on the lines of a package declared by the Tamil Nadu government for the Tiruppur-based textile sector workers. Other demands include constitution of a Cashew Board based in Kollam and financial assistance of Rs.250 crore to the public sector cashew factories.

KCWC leader A. Rahimkutty said that in view of the stiff competition from other countries, cashew plantations should be promoted on a war footing.

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