Madurai

Noon meal workers court arrest

Members of the Tamil Nadu Noon Meal Employees Association (TNNMEA) staged a protest and courted arrest here on Tuesday.

Led by Murugesan, TNNMEA district president, and Rajendran, district vice president, about 100 employees demonstrated in front of the union office urging the government to concede the five-point charter of demands. The police arrested them including 66 women when they squatted on the Ramanathapuram – Rameswaram national highway and blocked traffic.

Mr. Murugesan said they had been staging a series of agitations pressing the demands including regular pay scale, replacing existing special time pay scale, enhancing monthly pension from ₹ 2,000 to ₹ 9,000, the gratuity from ₹ 1 lakh to ₹ 5 lakh and hiking food subsidy given to the children but the government failed to concede the demands.

He said more than 20,000 posts of organisers, cooks and assistants were lying vacant throughout the State but the government has not come forward to fill up vacancies. The agitation was also to urge the government not to close down centres which had less than 25 children and transfer organisers to far off places, he said.

Pointing that the food subsidy offered to children ranged from ₹ 1.40 to ₹ 1.80 per child which was very less, he said after the executive committee of TNNMEA adopted a resolution urging the government to enhance the subsidy, the government had agreed to hike the subsidy but failed to pass a Government Order so far.

In Sivaganga, more than 170 members of TNNMEA, including 129 women courted arrest after staging picketing agitation near the bus stand in Sivaganga as part of the state-wide stir.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 12:26:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/noon-meal-workers-court-arrest/article30089225.ece

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