20 trade unions join nationwide protest

Stir by taxi and auto drivers had little impact in city

November 27, 2020 01:13 am | Updated 01:13 am IST - Bengaluru

Auto and taxi drivers taking out a protest march amid rain in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Auto and taxi drivers taking out a protest march amid rain in Bengaluru on Thursday.

In response to the nationwide strike, as many as 20 trade unions and organisations in the city carried out a rally from Majestic to Freedom Park where they staged a protest on Thursday. Protests were held in industrial areas such as Peenya, Bommasandra, and Jigani in Benglauru. There were also protests in other parts of the State.

S. Varalakshmi, State president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions said, “Our protest is against the Union government’s amendments to labour laws which have snatched the rights of the working class. The Centre has deprived the labour class of their rights in an attempt to appease industrialists.”

The unions have been demanding that the government give at least ₹7,500 per month for six months to families below the threshold of income tax limit. “This move will also help in reviving our economy as people will get purchasing power,” she added.

Autorickshaw and taxi drivers also took part in the protest with their own set of demands, but many stayed away owing to the rain. The drivers’ union had called for a daylong strike, but it did not have a major impact in city.

“Auto and taxi drivers have gone through a lot of financial distress owing COVID-19 and the State government has failed to address their grievances,” T. Somashekar of Namma Chalakara Trade Union said.

Drivers claim they are under pressure to pay back loans they had taken for their vehicles. Protesters were seen holding placards demanding that the State government arrest financiers harassing drivers and seizing vehicles.

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