The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) organised a rally and demonstration in the city on Wednesday to highlight the issues of workers in the State.

The issues are related to construction workers, ASHA and Anganwadi workers, Krushak Sathi and Gram Sathi, medical representatives, casual and contractual workers as well as the ones serving under the outsourced agencies. Despite the rain, around 1,500 workers and leaders of the CITU took part in the agitation.

The rally, started at the district labour office, culminated in a public meeting at the office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC). It was addressed by CPI (M) State secretariat member Ali Kishore Patnaik, CITU State committee member Aswini Das, Basant Nanda of pharmaceutical union, B.N.Sahu of sales representatives’ union and leaders of Berhampur Workers and Employees’ Coordination Committee Pratap Choudhury and K.C.Mishra. A delegation of the CITU submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister at the office of the RDC.

Through the memorandum, the CITU asked the government as well as private companies to ensure monthly payment of at least Rs. 10,000 for all contractual and casual employees as well as the persons serving under the outsourced agencies. They also demanded regularisation of the services of these employees. The CITU also urged the government to take ASHA volunteers, Anganwadi workers, Krushak Sathi, Gram Sathi as regular employees as they were key elements for the implementation of developmental schemes. “As an immediate measure, their meagre monthly payments should be paid every month. It is seen that most of the time they are paid after several months,” they pointed out.

Regarding construction workers, demand was made for speedy registration and distribution of benefits declared by the government. According to CITU activists, lack of staff and special cell at the district labour department offices was delaying the process. They also wanted the State government to enhance death benefits of construction workers as decided through a welfare board resolution in 2011.