All Pattali Trade Union in the district staged a blockade at the collectorate here demanding action against the labour department for its alleged use of the department vehicle to transport tiles from a private manufacturer here.

The protests were held here on Friday, a fortnight after the trade union members of Johnson Tiles intercepted a Bolero car of the Labour department stacked with high quality tiles driving out of the manufacturing unit premises.

Speaking to The Hindu , Devamani, president of the Pattali Trade Unions and district secretary of PMK, alleged that there were already labour conflicts in the unit and labour department was approached for mediation. In the light of this, the trade union members intercepted the vehicle carrying out tiles, alleging kickbacks.

A year ago, the concerned tiles manufacturer was on a lock down, following violent incidents between the workers and the management over pay and other compensation issues.

Leading the blockade outside the collectorate demanding action against the labour office, Mr.Devamani said that the district was already riddled with labour conflicts and that the workers expect the labour officials to function in a transparent manner.

“When the vehicle was intercepted, the driver told us that the stock was being taken to a private dealer and had nothing to do with the department. But, how is it that a labour department vehicle and a government driver get engaged for this?”

We had placed our complaint to the Collector immediately after the incident and we are still awaiting action, Mr.Devamani told The Hindu .

When The Hindu contacted Collector J.Ashok Kumar, disciplinary proceedings were yet to be initiated against the erring official. “We have forwarded the complaint. The driver was on deputation from the Co-operative Spinning Mill, which is a quasi-governmental department.”