Trade unions to strike work on Feb 20-21


 The trade unions in the state will participate in the all India general strike called by the national convention of workers. Suhaas Naik, convenor of Goa convention of workers, said that a workers rally will be held from KTC bus stand to Azad Maidan at 9.30am on February 20.
The trade unions are demanding fair minimum wages, abolition of the contract labour system, credible and adequate social security measures such as maternity benefits, old-age pension and supply of food at cheap rates through the public distribution system (PDS).Christopher Fonseca said due to rise in prices and the slowdown of the economy, the working class has been deeply hit. He said layoffs, closures and retrenchments have become common. Contract workers are forced to work in most exploitative and oppressive conditions, he added.
The 15 demands of the trade unions include no contract system for work of a perennial nature; amending of the Minimum Wages Act; removing all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund and increase in the quantum of gratuity; assured pension for all; recognition of the right to organize and right to strike and stop violations of labour laws; no pro-employer changes to the labour laws; stopping the sale of profit-making public sector undertakings (PSUs), stopping job losses and retrenchments; make 40 hours a week with 5 days working-week; restore interest rate on the Provident Fund deposits to 12%; and rolling back prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG cylinders and controlling of prices of essential commodities and petroleum products.
Fonseca said the suspension of mining operations has affected workers. Those employed with Zuari agro chemicals limited have been affected due to their sudden retrenchment, while casinos and hotels employees have no job security, he added. [TOI]