KARNATAKA

Law sought to restore right to strike

BELGAUM, AUG. 21. The Belgaum District Council affiliated to the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and representing all the trade unions in the district has sought legislation to restore the right to strike. It has also demanded that the right to collective bargaining be recognised by the Government.

The council, which held a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office here on Friday to mark World Protest Day, said the Centre could prevent industrial unrest by conceding the demands of the working class. A.R. Vijaykumar, vice-president of the AITUC State Committee, and N.R. Kango, general secretary of the divisional unit, led the protests.

The protesters demanded that the Union Government offer 12 per cent interest on Employee's Provident Fund; halt the privatisation of the transport, banking, insurance, and telecommunication sectors; provide irrigation and health facilities and an efficient public distribution system to ensure that people had access to essential commodities; prevent the entry of multinational companies into the health sector, and strengthen the existing labour laws.

Opposed

In a separate protest, members of the Karnataka State Government Employees' Association led by its president, S.G. Sidnal, opposed the move to bring workers of the Health Department under the purview of gram panchayats.