Madurai

Agricultural workers to rise up against ‘injustices’ of the Centre

A. Vijayaraghavan  

All India Agricultural Workers’ Union (AIAWU) will unify agricultural workers, dalits and migrant labourers across the country for a mass movement in November third week condemning the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s attempts to create communal disharmony among people and against the passage of farm bills and labour laws, said its national president A. Vijayaraghavan here on Monday.

Addressing mediapersons, he said the Central government failed to ensure social security and livelihood security for agricultural workers, dalits and migrant labourers during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown. It passed the Farm Bills without holding discussions with the standing committees.

The government’s procurement of agricultural produce from farmers and the distribution of commodities to the people through public distribution system (PDS) were interlinked. When the government procured agricultural produce from farmers, they were assured a minimum price for their commodities, and the distribution of commodities through PDS helped in addressing the issue of malnutrition in people, especially among children and women. “But, by passing the farm bills, the government is shying away from responsibility. This will severely affect the food security of the nation,” he said.

Incidents of attack on dalits had increased considerably under BJP rule, said Mr. Vijayaraghavan. “In the States ruled by the BJP government, the leaders have failed to protect the dalits and other minorities,” he said.

Employment opportunities of agricultural workers had been severely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing additional employment through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act (MGNREGA) was important, he said.

He said 200 days of work must be assured for workers under MGNREGA. “A minimum wage of ₹600 must be given for a day’s work under the job scheme,” he said.

“The Union government supports corporate conglomerates but is harsh on the working class through the labour laws. “So, all workers will unify to fight against these injustices,” he said. The Union would also take part in a nation-wide strike of all trade unions scheduled for November 26, he said.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 11:33:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/agricultural-workers-to-rise-up-against-injustices-of-the-centre/article32894509.ece

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