Autorickshaw workers, drivers and owners, under the banner of CITU, took out a rally and staged a demonstration, urging the Union Government to take control of the prices of petroleum products.
Auto rickshaw workers from Cuddalore, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai and Puducherry took part in the rally.
K Balakrishanan, CPM MLA from Chidambaram, who led the rally, addressing protestors, said that the prices of petroleum products were increased by oil firms based on wrong policies such as deregulation. He said the Centre was not bothered about the workers’ welfare and was proceeding with its anti-labour policies.
More than 10 lakh auto rickshaw workers from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, had to bear the brunt of the price hike in petrol, diesel and other spare parts, he said. A committee headed by district collectors in Tamil Nadu and the top level district authority in Puducherry, should be formed to decide on fares acceptable to both the public as well as the drivers and auto owners, he suggested.
The CPM legislator said that the UT government should form a welfare board for the auto workers and allot Rs 10 crore initially. He also sought a ban on renting out two-wheelers in Puducherry, as it affected the livelihood of the autorickshaw drivers.
In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister, the workers demanded relaxation of the restrictions on crossing borders, setting up of authorised auto stands and making available forms in Tamil at the RTO offices.