CHENNAI: TASMAC employees belonging to the Tamil Nadu Government Employees’ Association (TNEA) have threatened to shut liquor shops in the State on March 17 over a demand that they be made permanent staff. According to the Association, 6,250 of the 6,500 liquor shops across the State will participate in the strike. The Association also hopes to rope in other unions and shops to join the protest.
“Thirty five thousand people are employed by TASMAC under various positions since 2003. It has been six years now and the staff have not been made permanent”, said Balusamy, regional head of TNEA.
The Association estimates the government will lose around Rs 30-40 crore if the one-day shutdown happens.
“A significant contribution to the state exchequer comes from this sector and even then workers are grossly underpaid and overworked. An average TASMAC employee has to put in 12 hours of work in a day”, Balusamy said. According to the Association, TASMAC supervisors get a daily wage of Rs 130, salesmen get Rs 90 and shop assistants get Rs 70.
The Association has demanded that the government chalk out a roadmap to make the employees permanent staff and to reduce their working hours from the present 12 hours to eight hours a day.
Meanwhile, in a press statement, senior BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan condemned the DMK government for not addressing the woes of TASMAC employees.
However the DMK workers union has called on the workers to abandon their call for a shutdown. Stating that the DMK government has been working for the progress of TASMAC employees, the DMK union has assured them that the government will in due course address all the problems of the employees.