SALEM: At a joint meeting here on Saturday, central trade unions discussed ongoing industrial labour disputes in Salem and demanded enforcement of labour rights and labour welfare laws. They have decided to act jointly in these cases.
On the dismissal of 42 workmen from Ashok Granites Limited, Salem, they said the workers had only demanded minimum wages and other legitimate benefits. But the management closed the factory illegally even as the Deputy Commissioner of Labour was conducting conciliation proceedings. It should be reopened and the dismissed workers reinstated, they said. The meeting also demanded recognition for their union (affiliated to CITU).
The unions said Labour Department authorities were insisting on arbitrary norms to recognise trade unions. The recent practice of demanding certificates of the Village Administrative Officer and a consent letter from the company's MD to register a trade union should be be scrapped.
The district administration and Labour Department should intervene in the illegal closure of garment factories without notice and leaving hundreds of women workers in the lurch. They should also take action against managements denying even long-serving workers their rights and ESI, PF and other benefits.
In recent labour disputes, the police were taking a pro-management position and preventing workers from exercising their right to democratic dissent, the unions said.
The meeting decided that trade union representatives will meet the Collector and Deputy Commissioner of Labour on Tuesday and hand over a memorandum on these issues.
CITU state vice president S K Thiyagarajan presided over the meeting. Among others present were Paramasivam, K A Venugopal and M Munuswamy (AITUC), Velmurugan (AICCTU), Krishnakumar (INTUC), K S Palaniswamy (BMS), P Paneerselvam and K C Gopikumar (CITC) and G Govindarajan.