Vajpayee's birthday celebrationsCHENNAI: Feeding the poor and planting of saplings marked the former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee's birthday celebrations here on Monday.

The former party president Venkaiah Naidu and his wife Usha participated in the poor feeding programme organised by the South Chennai unit.

Mr. Naidu described Mr. Vajpayee as the "most admired, loved and adored leader of the post-independent era."

State president L.Ganesan and general secretary Tamilisaisoundararajan were among those present.

Mr. Naidu and Mr. Ganesan planted saplings as part of the State unit's drive to plant 8000 saplings, according to a press release. Special Correspondent

Temple staff plea to GovernmentMADURAI: The Tamil Nadu Senior Category Temple Staff Association has appealed to the Government to absorb all the temple employees into the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.

The association also urged the Government to announce a pension scheme for the temple staff.

The Government had announced a merger of 50 per cent dearness allowance for its employees, effective from January 1, 2006, but it was yet to be implemented for the temple staff, a press release here said. Staff Reporter

Wage accord reachedTIRUPUR: The Tirupur Exporters' Association (TEA) and five other trade unions on Monday reached an amicable settlement on wage issue.

According to TEA president A. Sakthivel, leaders of AITUC, MLF, LPF, ATP and INTUC participated in the talks, which held at TEA hall. The wage accord for nearly lakhs of workers working in knitwear export units was reached. Without elaborating the contents of the accord, including the percentage of hike in wages, Mr. Sakthivel said the agreement between TEA and five unions would be made as tripartite one before the Joint Commissioner of Labour in Coimbatore on December 27. Details of the accord would be made public that day. Staff Reporter

Hosiery workers serve strike noticeCoimbatore: Pressing for a charter of 13 demands, including wage revision, the Hosiery and General Workers Association, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, on Monday served a strike notice on various management associations of hosiery units in and around Tirupur.

The notice signed by president and general secretary of the association K. Kamaraj and M. Chandran has said the hosiery workers would go on an indefinite strike on or after January 11, 2007.

The notice points out that with the previous agreement having expired seven months ago, there has been an inordinate delay in finalising the next accord by resorting to time delaying tactics. As a result, the hosiery workers have incurred several crores of wage loss over the last seven months. Staff Reporter

Effigies burntRAMANATHAPURAM: A group of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam activists on Monday burned the effigy of L. Ganesan and Ramachandran, MPs of the MDMK, at Mudukulathur.

Staff Reporter

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