Madurai Bureau

Members stage demonstrations at various places in southern districts

DINDIGUL: As many as 500 members of Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) took out a rally and staged a demonstration in front of the District Labour Office demanding constitution of a separate board for the unorganised sector. They appealed to the State Government protect the interests of the labourers.

The rally started from the municipal office and ended at the labour office after passing through prime roads in the town.

Theni

A total of 250 members of the CITU took out a rally that started at Krishna Theatre and ended at Bhagavathi Amman Temple ground in the town and staged a demonstration with the same demands.

Virudhunagar

Over 200 cadres, including 52 women, took out a procession from the MGR statue to Desabandu ground here. The District Vice-President, Lazar, led the procession.

Madurai

Hundreds of labourers attached to the CITU participated in a rally followed by a demonstration here. 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.

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