To draw the attention of the Government to the "deficiencies" in the Department of Labour
MADURAI: Hundreds of labourers attached to the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) participated in a rally followed by a demonstration here on Tuesday to draw the attention of the Government to the "deficiencies" in the Department of Labour.
Similar rallies were held in all district headquarters across the State. The Madurai (Urban) district secretary of CITU, B. Vikraman, said the department was suffering from paucity of workforce and infrastructure. Many posts such as Assistant Commissioners of Labour, the authority to deal with gratuity disputes, and so on were lying vacant.
Though the Government had established more than 16 welfare boards for the unorganised sector employees, the functioning of these boards was not up to the mark. Applicants were not given identity cards within the stipulated period of 15 days and it took years to disburse the welfare benefits, he alleged.
More than 7,600 cases pertaining to dismissal and suspension of workers were pending adjudication before the Department of Labour. Slackness in conducting periodical inspections in business establishments, industries, hotels and such other places had led to rampant violation of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, he alleged.
The Madurai (Rural) district secretary of CITU, V. Pitchai, said "modern slavery" was being practised in many textile mills. Adolescent girls were employed in these mills for a paltry sum of Rs.30 to 40 a day.
They were paid just Rs.20, 000 while being terminated after four years of service. "It is nothing but sheer exploitation and the practice should be curbed at any cost," he said.