Mangaluru: Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) held a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here, on April 18.
Speaking on the occasion, CITU district General Secretary Vasanth Achari said, “CITU has been fighting for fixing the minimum wage of workers since 1997. We had demanded minimum wages of Rs 15000, but the Siddaramaiah government recently announced the minimum wages to be Rs 10010. This is not what we expected, we will continue our agitation to increase the minimum wages to Rs 18000.”
He said, “The organised, as well as unorganised workers, should have minimum wages. We wanted to hold a meeting with the Chief Minister on April 12, but he turned down our request stating he had no time. They have time to talk about the Hublot watch in the parliament but they don’t have time for the workers.”
Vasanth further said, “The corrupt Yeddyurappa took up charge as the BJP State President and said he will speak about the corruption done by Siddaramaiah, but he never said anything about the workers. Today all workers are outsourced, even in the airports. Some Bajrang Dal goondas are supplying workers and are charging Rs 12000 for their services. The workers work 12 hours shift and without any holiday and are paid only Rs 8000. This is how the Bajrang Dal goondas are becoming crorepatis.”
Vasanth said, “Today beedi workers have no jobs due to the draconian law of the central government which has forced the beedi companies to shut down their business. Siddaramaiah government should pressurize the Prime Minister to withdraw this rule. MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had said that the beedi workers would not be affected. Where is he now? Janardhan Poojary who calls a press meet every alternate day has no concern for the lakhs of people who are without work. Even Minister Ramanath Rai is silent. Who will fight for the working class?”