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CITU stages protest against government

Special Correspondent

Silchar, April 9: Raising their voice against the anti labour policy of the Centre and the State government of Assam, CITU Cachar and Hailakandi district committee held two day long protest demonstration in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar which concluded on Monday. The protest programme was held on the first day in front of the statue of Khudiram Bose. Addressing the workers and supporters of the trade union body, Supriya Bhattacharjee, general secretary, said the condition of working class and job aspiring youth, boys and girls, across the country has become indescribable. Instead of fulfilling its promises for creating and providing job opportunities to them, the government has been rather going for privatization of the public sector.
Bhattacharjee added to say oil fields are being put on auction, crisis is brewing in the coal mines also. Paper mills at Panchgram and Jagiroad are closed. The possibility of new industrialization is uncertain. He pointed out 85 lakh unorganized workers have no social security. Neither have they the guarantee of minimum wages. Nomil and meagre remunerations to anganwadi workers tantamount to showing disrespect to the women folk. Privatization of midday meals is only a matter of time.
The decision of the Central Government to abolish permanent posts and make temporary placements a matter of policy has come in for scathing criticism by Samiran Acharjee, a veteran trade union leader of CITU. Acharjee said in order to stifle the voice of protest and agitation by trade union bodies against the anti labour policies, the Centre and the State are now active to bring about amendment in the labour laws and deprive them of their legitimate and fundamental rights. It is against this backdrop, as Acharjee said, CITU has planned the two day protest demonstration across the urban and the rural areas of Cachar and Hailakandi.
During the protest demonstration, CITU leaders held out before the workers 6 point charter of demands and sought their active help and cooperation to carry on the struggle for the sake of justice. The demands include fixation of minimum daily wages for tea workers at the rate of Rs.350. For each worker, the monthly salary of Rs.18,000 has to be settled and the scheme based workers should be paid regular remuneration. The proposed labour law has to be kept in abeyance and the process to deactivate labour department should be stopped, besides the welfare labour society of Assam has to be derecognized.
Acharjee continuing his tirade against the Centre and the State said privatization of oil fields in Assam has to be put on hold forever. Paper mills are to be revived and put on steam. Contractual workers should not be retrenched. Social security is to be provided to unorganized working class and the decision to do away with permanent posts and regularization of temporary placements has to be withdrawn. CITU leaders said their agitation would continue till their demands as laid down are met.

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Ankur Kalita