OTHERS

Strike peaceful in Udupi

Trade unions take out procession

Staff Correspondent

UDUPI: The strike by the Joint Committee of Trade Unions, on a call given by the National Joint Convention of Trade Unions, passed off peacefully in Udupi district on Thursday.

The general strike call was supported by the district units of Communist Party of India (M), Centre for Indian Trade Union, All India Trade Union Congress, Insurance Employees Union, Bank Employees Union, State Government Employees Union, Central Government Employees Union, BSNL Employees Union, Postal Employees Union, KSRTC Employees Union, and Students Federation of India.

No buses

Due to the strike, city and service buses were off the road. But autorickshaws were plying as usual. Schools, colleges, banks, and LIC offices remained closed in Udupi. Attendance was sparse in government offices. Some business establishments were closed.

Procession

Members of the Joint Committee of Trade Unions began a procession from the LIC Divisional Office at Ajjarkad in the city. The procession passed through Taluk Office Road, Diana Circle, Kavi Muddanna Road, Service Bus Stand, North School Road and culminated at Corporation Bank Founder's Branch premises. Addressing the protestors, general secretary of the district unit of CITU, P. Vishwanath Rai said the increase in prices of petroleum products by the Centre had hit the common man. The Government should frame a law to protect the interests of unorganised workers and agricultural labourers. The Employment Guarantee Act should be amended to suit ground realities. Job opportunities should be created for the jobless in the urban areas. Employing people on contract basis should be stopped. Ban on fresh recruitment should go, Mr. Rai said.

The privatisation or disinvestments of core sectors such as nationalised banks, airports, insurance, and other profitable PSUs should be stopped. Efforts should be made to rejuvenate those PSUs that are running on losses, he said.

The Government should give up proposals for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecom and Defence sectors. It should revise the Electricity Act of 2003 and the National Electricity Policy, 2005. The privatisation of State Electricity Boards should be stopped. The discrimination in supplying power to rural and urban areas should be ended. A law should be enacted to protect the right of the workers to go on a strike. The Sixth Pay Commission for Government employees should be formed.

The upper limit on bonus should be removed. The Government should take stern action to recover loans from big corporate defaulters, Mr. Rai said.

Rasta Roko

Members of the Tile Workers Union staged a "rasta roko" at Ambagilu in the city. Workers also staged "rasta roko" at Tallur, Kundapur, Sasthan and Brahmavar.

Derek Rebello, Convener of Joint Committee of Trade Unions; Admar Sripati Acharya, Vice- President of CITU; U. Shivaraya, President of Bank Employees Union; and David Karkada, President of All India Kisan Sabha, were present.

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