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Trade union to launch indefinite hunger strike

Protesting against the state government for not implementing the tenets of the contract labour (regulation and abolition) Act, the India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) has decided to conduct an indefinite fast from October 22.

Speaking to reporters in the city on Saturday, AICCTU national president S Kumarasamy said more than 80% of industrial workers in Tamil Nadu are non-permanent workers under categories such as causal labourers, temporary workers, people in probation period and apprentices. “The state in May 2018 drafted industry employment standing order act to safeguard these workers and had released a GO in July 2016. The Madras high court had in July 2017asked the state to form new model standing rules for temporary workers. But the state has not done it till now. Those who had gone to represent the issue to the chief minister on September 28 were imprisoned till October 1,” he said.

Also, as per the Tamil Nadu Contract Labourers Act’s rule 25(2) (V), temporary workers, who have equal workload as that of a permanent worker, should be paid on par with permanent workers, Kumarasamy said. “A firm should not have more than 5% of temporary workers. But such rules are not being followed. Temporary workers are paid five times lesser than permanent workers.”

“This is an important issue as it concerns more than 80% of the state’s workforce. The demands we are raising are all part of the existing labour laws,” he said. To create awareness on the fast scheduled on October 22 to be held by the Pricol Workers Union in Perianaickenpalayam, AICCTU will conduct campaigns in Karur, Coimbatore and Sriperumpudur on October 12, 13 and 14, Kumarasamy added.