Trade unions hold joint protest, demand ease of travel of workers to their native places
Demand Rs 7500 per month for three months to all workers in unorganized sector
Ludhiana: The trade unions including INTUC, AITUC, CITU, CTU, THKU and TUCC organized a protest rally at the Mini Secretariat today to protest against the draconian changes in the labour laws and governments total apathy towards the workers wanting to go to their native places in this hour of extreme crises due to loss of jobs, livelihood which has push them into hunger. The rally was presided over by a presidium including Swaran Singh, Ramesh Rattan, Paramjit Singh, Sukhminder Singh Lotey, Hari Singh Sahni and Rajwinder Singh.
The participants paid homage to the workers who lost their lives while on way to their native places by observing two minutes silence.
Addressing the rally Com Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary, AITUC condemned central governments apathy towards the workers who are willing to go to their families. There is no proper arrangement for transport and number of trains from different places is very less. There is no guarantee of food/ ration at their work place, they have been evicted from their residence, as per the studies 92% of the workers have not been paid wages after 22nd March. This is despite the advisory by the government which however they have withdrawn. That is why in the absence of ration and loss of jobs, thousands of workers are walking, going on cycles or bikes to their villages in other states. Their plight has not moved the government. Instead of helping them the government is out to change the labour laws.
Com Mangat Ram Pasla – state leader of CTU said that the BJP ruled states UP, Karnatka and Gujarat have already made draconian changes in the labour laws which will make the workers virtually as slaves/ bonded labourers. The stimulus package announced by the Finance Minister in five series of long speeches has only been rhetoric of what has already been announced in the budget and earlier. This has been more of a loan mela in which nothing has been given to the workers or MSMEs.
Com Raghunath Singh, State Secretary, CITU said that it is astonishing that the health sector has been completely ignored in her package, least caring about the sacrifices and hard work done by the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, laboratory staff, safai karamcharis and field staff workers like the ASHA and Anganwadi workers. He condemned freezing of DA and DR of central government employees and pensioners. He also criticised disinvestment of PSUs. He also demanded that working hours should not be changed from 8 to 12 hours.
The workers took out a procession maintaining the physical distance and other health advisories the mini secretariat where the local leaders comrades D P Maur, Tarsem Jodhan, Subhash Rani, Sarabjit Singh Sarhali, Gurjit Singh, Prof. Jaipal Singh, Daljit Singh, Vijay Kumar and M S Bhatia, Harjinder Singh presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner along with a letter addressed to the Prime Minister from the central trade unions. In their memorandum they demanded from the Deputy Commissioner ensured ration supply to the needy by involving the BLOs in a transparent manner. Ensure that they requested for the ration at 1905 are attended to. They also demanded foolproof transport in an easy manner to the workers to going distance places by train and provision of buses to nearby states like Haryana, Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Others who participated include Lakhwinder Singh, Subhash Rani, Kewal Singh Banwait, Gurmail Meldey, Feroze Master, Baldev Moudgil, Ghanshyam, Hanuman Prasad Dubey.