Protests across Indian economy

Female Kuri building workers - India

More labour unrest in India as construction, education and mining workers step up fight for improved conditions.

A section of Mine-I employees of Neyveli Lignite Corporation staged a stay-in strike on Saturday demanding the continuation of pick-up service or a raise in conveyance allowance.

The NLC management suspended Arumugham, area vice-president of the Labour Progressive Front, and served a charge memo on Haridas, another functionary.

When the management increased the allowance, it withdrew the pick-up facility. Higher conveyance allowance was fixed for those serving in Mine-IA and Mine-II. The withdrawal of the pick-up service came as a surprise to the Mine-I employees, who staged the protest.

Meanwhile, around 7,000 teachers in the Union Territory have decided to go on an indefinite strike from November 5 pressing for their demands.

After launching a series of protests, the Puducherry Teachers’ Associations Co-ordinating Committee and Puducherry, Karaikal and the Mahe Teachers’ Associations Joint Protest Committee will go on strike to put forward various demands, including the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission without any pre-conditions and grant of Assured Career Progression (ACP).

General secretary of Federation of Puducherry Government Employees’ Association, T.R. Seshachalam, told a press conference on Saturday that the Sixth Pay Commission had recommended higher replacement scale for teachers and not equated scale. There were no pre-conditions prescribed such as qualifications, years of service or experience.

“This was accepted by the Centre and the revised pay rules, 2008, issued. The rules were re-published by the Puducherry government in the gazette. But it is learnt that the committee appointed by the government wants to come up with pre-conditions for implementing the recommendations of the Commission,” he said. The government had not granted ACP for teachers for the last 10 years.

Finally, the Construction Workers Federation of India, a trade union affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), held a rally on yesterday (Sunday) evening in which hundreds of workers from across the State participated.

Following this, a public meeting was held in which Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) state general secretary A.Soundararajan accused the State government of not providing sufficient funds for the functioning of labour welfare boards. Besides demanding an increased allocation of funds, workers are also setransparency in the functioning of these boards.

Another demand laid down by the union leaders was there should be no limit on the number of workers joining the welfare board at a given time.

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Ed
Nov 3 2008 20:45

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