Members of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and its functionaries staged a demonstration near Gandhipuram bus stand on Saturday evening protesting against the action of the police in handcuffing the CITU office-bearers who were arrested in connection with an industrial unrest.
The trade union said that 1,800 permanent and 6,000 contract and casual labourers working in a private cellular phone spare and accessories manufacturing unit at Sri Perumbudur in Kancheepuram district were facing unfavourable employment conditions. The workers were complaining of low wages, work place without basic infrastructure and sexual abuse of women employees.
The workforce that remained with the ruling party's trade union on finding “no end to their ordeal” joined the CITU. The Labour Minister was resorting to a coercion of signing a wage accord only with the ruling party union that was acting against the interests of the workers. The ruling party resorted to all measures to prevent the opening of the trade union office at Sriperumbudur by intimidating the house owner who had agreed to rent his house for the trade union.
The CITU office bearers had petitioned the Chief Minister and the Director General of Police fearing threat to their lives but no action had been initiated so far. Meanwhile, the police had resorted to foisting of false cases.
It flayed the police for handcuffing CITU General Secretary A. Soundarrajan and District Secretary E. Muthukumar while bringing them to the court for remand/trial. CITU functionaries P. Kaliappan, S. Arumugam, MP P.R. Natarajan and former MLA U.K. Vellingiri took part. They said that the ruling party was using the police to suppress the trade unions.