Mangaluru, July 23: Led by CITU, a massive protest was staged by the Dakshina Kannada Beedi Worker’s Association against the government in front of the DC’s office here on Thursday July 23rd.
Prior to the protest, the Beedi workers went on a march from Town Hall to the DC’s office here.
Addressing the protesters, V S Berinja, general secretary of CITU – South Canara Beedi workers federation said, the government’s move of depriving the Beedi workers of their Dearness Allowances and providing exemption to the owners is condemned. He queried as to why MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and MP Shoba Karandlaje has kept quiet without responding to the grievances of Beedi Workers.
He further said, majority of the benefits available to the beedi workers are sanctioned from the Central Labour Welfare department. But in the recent years, new projects are not launched and even the benefits of old projects are being delayed. The department which changes the norms of Beedi Workers scholarship each year, is granting the funds for only 60 percent of the applicants and is making the workers to suffer. The ministers fail to understand all these problems of the workers, he said.
MLC Ivan D’Souza has taken interest about the Beedi workers, has collected appropriate information frequently from us and has discussed the matter in the assembly. The Labour minister of the state has said, Dearness Allowances and other problems will be discussed in a meeting with the concerned officials of central and state. We thank him for this, he said.
South Canara Beedi workers federation- CITU president B M Bhat, Secretary J Balakrishna Shetty and others spoke during the protest.
Hundreds of beedi workers had also participated in the protest.