Staff Reporter

Governments changed, but labour policies did not: CITU leader

TIRUCHI: The liberalisation and globalisation policies pursued by the governments over the years has widened the gap between the rich and the poor in the country, A.K. Padmanabhan, national secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) said on Saturday.

The trade unions have a great responsibility to enlighten the people and the working class about the trend of the widening rich-poor gap existing in the country, he said while inaugurating the 14th two-day general conference of the Madurai Division General Insurance Employees Association here.

Though there have been change in governments in the last 15 years, the labour and economic policies pursued by them had remained the same.

The Left parties and the trade unions had been consistently emphasising to the government that the policies pursued by it should not go against interests of the labour class, agriculturists and the common man.

The trade unions had been fighting for a change in the economic policy, he said while claiming that the government was not ready to hold discussions in this regard with the unions.

The spate of suicides committed by the farmers from 1997 to 2005 especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat reflected the sorry state of affairs of the agriculturists.

When the United Progressive Alliance Government was formed in 2004 there was a lot of expectations from it. However, it had not kept some of the promises made in the common minimum programme, he claimed.

Stating that attempts were being made to divide the people on communal lines, he said the unions had a great role to play in protecting the unity of the country. The unions should be prepared to face the challenges in future as well, he said.

The Deputy Mayor M. Anbalagan, the president of the Madurai Division General Insurance Employees Association, D. Gopalraj and others spoke. A cartoon exhibition was also organised in connection with the two day conference and it was declared open by the treasurer of the Association, M. Kumar.