Staff Reporter

“Apprentices are exploited for cheap labour”

“They are waiting for a job 10 to 20 years after completing their course”

Demonstration to be staged in Tiruvannamalai on December 29

Tiruvannamalai: Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) has not recruited ITI (Motor Mechanics) certificate-holders for the last 13 years and meets its manpower requirements by exploiting apprentices, laments the newly launched ITI Holders Association.

Addressing the association’s consultative meet held here on Sunday, its organising secretary V. Packiyaraj said “though the transport corporation is the major source of employment for ITI motor mechanics holders, it has not been recruiting these qualified people for a long time. ITI holders are waiting for a job 10 to 20 years after completing their course.”

They [TNSTC] pay only Rs.1,400 per month to ITI apprentices and exploit their labour power. They give overtime to the cheaply exploited labour and approach every ITI asking them to send their students to TNSTC depot, to get their free labour, in the guise of offering training. Adopting all these techniques, they deny employment to ITI holders,” he said.

Association secretary R. Senthilkumar said that there were 5,000 ITI (Electrical) holders awaiting job from Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, who could be their major employment provider.

G. Thangavelu, State vice-president of transport AITUC (All India Trade Union Congress), said that TNSTC with a fleet strength of 20,000-odd buses has 12,000 technical posts vacant. Even Transport Minister Nehru promised to fill 10,000 posts six months ago, but no steps followed that promise, he said.

CPI district executive member P.T. Rajendran said that multinational companies that were starting their units in the State avoid recruiting ITI holders and prefer unskilled workers, give them some training and exploit their labour for a pittance. The government should intervene and regulate them to ensure MNCs are recruiting qualified labour and pay them according to their qualification, he said.

The association resolved to stage a demonstration in Tiruvannamalai on December 29 insisting TNSTC and TNEB to recruit ITI holders.