Andhra Pradesh

Protests in Tirupati, Kadapa against ‘anti-labour’ policies

Unions demand Centre to bail out workers rendered jobless

A slew of protests by various trade unions and political organisations against the Central Government’s ‘anti-labour’ policies rocked the city of Tirupati on Friday.

Members of the National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) and All India Postal Employees Union Group ‘C’ staged a demonstration at the Tirupati Head Post Office for two hours, flaying the Centre for “breaking the back of the workers” and also for opening up core and strategic sectors like defence production, space research, power, civil aviation, coal and minerals to private players.

Claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic gave the Centre an opportunity to cover up its financial mismanagement, the protesters said that the Centre was trying to unilaterally impose reforms on the nation. The union’s Tirupati division president B. Chandrasekhar and secretaries B. Venkatramaiah and B. Munaswamy Naik led the protest.

“The department should distribute masks and sanitisers to the postal field staff in view of the risks involved,” State circle secretary B. Sridhar Babu said. Such measures would result in loss of jobs in every sector, they said.

Leaders of AITUC, CITU and IFTU, led by AITUC State general secretary G. Obulesu and CITU district secretary Kandharapu Murali, staged a joint demonstration at Gandhi Circle. He called the ₹20 lakh crore package ‘a jugglery of numbers’ and demanded that ₹10,000 be deposited into the account of every worker rendered jobless.

‘Need a rethink on strategy’

In Kadapa, members of the Insurance Corporation Employees Union (ICEU) staged a demonstration by following social distancing norms at the LIC Divisional Headquarters on Friday.

“Though wonders can be created with ₹20 lakh crore, the ‘feel good factor’ is hardly evident in the society, which is why the Centre should go for a rethink on its strategies and policies,” said LIC Employees Union Divisional General Secretary A. Raghunatha Reddy.

Observing that even top industrialists had expressed reservations against the Centre’s ‘anti-labour’ policies, he said companies like LIC should be given the discretion and freedom to frame its own labour policies, thus protecting its autonomy.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:11:45 PM |

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