Don't take liberalisation too far, CITU tells Govt.

TUMKUR, AUG. 14. Three senior leaders of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Saturday asked the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) Government "not to pursue pseudo-liberalisation policies" and to "end police interference" in industrial disputes and trade union movements.

Addressing presspersons here, CITU leaders Meenakshi Sundaram, Syed Mujib and Mohammed Dastagir said the coalition had failed to learn a lesson from the electoral defeat of the Congress in Karnataka and that of the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh. According to them, the parties lost because their governments followed "extreme liberalisation policies."

"People brought down the governments which pursued anti-labour policies. We do not want the present Government to go the same way,'' they said.

`Pay arrears'

Mr. Sundaram said the Government should amend the Industrial Disputes Act to make it binding on industrial units to settle arrears of their labourers before they were closed down. A comprehensive law should be enacted to monitor the contract labour system, he suggested. He said thousands of anganwadi workers, municipal labourers, cooks engaged under the `Akshara Dasoha' scheme, and those employed on a fixed honorarium had no job security.

Tax collection

Mr. Mujib said employees in over 80 per cent of gram panchayats had not been receiving their salaries on time. The Government had entrusted tax collection in villages in Tumkur district to Stree Shakthi Sanghas as part of a pilot project. More than 5,000 gram panchayat employees would be rendered jobless if this was done, he said.

Mr. Sundaram accused the Union Government of favouring big industrials houses and the rich.The CITU leaders said a number of trade unions would observe August 20 as "Demands day.'' The unions would stage an agitation and take out a rally on September 2 in support of their demands.

Some of the unions, including that of anganwadi workers, would continue the agitation, they added.

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