Garment workers' stir continues in Bengaluru, traffic hit for second day

A bus damaged in stone pelting at Goraguntepalya in Bengaluru. Photo: K. Murali Kumar  

For the second day in a row, protests against recent amendments to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) continued in Bengaluru and its suburbs on Tuesday, affecting vehicular movement.

Traffic on the arterial Hosur Road was disrupted, as thousands of protesters gathered at the Bommanahalli Junction in the morning. Vehicular movement below the flyover was disrupted since 8.30 a.m. However, traffic on it was not affected.

As per the new amendments, employees will be able to withdraw only their contribution to their provident fund accounts. They will be able to withdraw the employer’s contribution only after they are 58-years-old. > Read more.

Jayaram K.R. from the Garment and Textile Workers’ Union termed it an “anti-worker” move. He said that if there was no contribution to the provident fund, workers will be entitled to only three years’ of interest on their employer’s contribution. “The main contention is that many workers of the unorganised sectors are not sure of being employed till they are 58-years-old. Workers, who are over 40 years, are unsure, as they may not be able to find suitable jobs,” he said.

Also read: >Flash strike shuts down Hosur Road for 6 hours

Latest updates:

— Three buses have reportedly been set on fire at Jalahalli Cross. There are reports of stone pelting at Goraguntepalya.

— Even unions are still at a loss as to what triggered the protests. A local Kannada daily carried a story on Saturday saying that henceforth workers could not withdraw money from their PF accounts, triggering panic. > Read more.

— The garment workers are from five factories, including Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd., K. Mohan and Co Exports Pvt. Ltd. and Jockey.

— This is not the first time that a protest has held up movement on a highway for several hours. In March, over 10,000 farmers from Kolar and Chickballapur tried to enter the city on tractors and on foot. Airport goers and school students were the worst affected by the chaos on the roads.

— Shops and commercial establishments downed their shutters anticipating trouble and additional police force has been deployed in the sensitive area to monitor law and order.

— According to Additional Commissioner (East) Harishekaran, around 20 KSRP platoons, eight DCPs and 300 policemen are at the spot, trying to control the situation.

— The police put up barricades and tried to restrict the protestors to the service roads. However, the protesters broke the barricades and barged into the main road. They even pelted stones, it is said, The police fired tear gas shell at them.

— The traffic police are diverting the traffic from Bommanahalli and Hosa Road Junction to adjacent areas.

Garment factory employees blocking Mysore Road. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

— Meanwhile, a majority of the garment factories in Peenya and Rajagopalanagar downed their shutters. Protests have been reported at Yeshwanthpur, Gorguntepalya.

— According to initial reports, traffic movement was severely affected on the entry and exit points of the city, Nelamangala Road, Outer Ring Road Junction, Jalahalli Cross and Tumkur Road. With thousands of garment workers taking to the streets, vehicular movement was severely impacted at Bidadi on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway.

— Three buses stoned at Tumakuru Road. Women injured in police caning.

— Traffic comes to a standstill on West of Chord Road, as hundreds of garment workers come out to protest at Rajajinagar Industrial Area.

— Three buses set on fire at Jalahalli. BMTC has suspended services across the city.

— Namma Metro services between Nagasandra and Yeshwantpur has been suspended.

— Police jeep stoned and set on fire at Jalahalli Gate. Fire tenders not able to reach the spot.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 10:07:02 PM |

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