Port Blair, Nov. 16: CITU, A&N State Committee organized mass demonstration, procession and public meeting today (16.11.2023) at Port Blair on various issues of workers like (i) Immediate revision of minimum wages for scheduled employment (ii) Against anti-labour actions of Labour Department (iii) Restore Sunday wages to 1/30th pay daily rated mazdoors (iv) Against price rise, etc. Hundreds of workers assembled in front of the office of the Labour Commissioner and staged a mass demonstration condemning the inaction on the part of the Labour Department on revision of minimum wages and anti-labour actions of officers of Labour Department. After staging mass demonstration, the workers took out a huge procession in the Port Blair town which culminated in a public meeting at Tiranga Park, Aberdeen Bazar. 

Addressing the huge gathering of workers at Tiranga Park, B. Chandrachoodan, General Secretary, CITU State Committee criticized the Administration for its failure to revise the minimum wages which was due from 1st January, 2023.  He said that the Labour Department is working not for the workers but for the employers/businessmen in the islands.  He referred to the corruption in the Contruction Workers Welfare Board under the Labour Department. 

Speaking on the occasion, D. Ayyappan, Vice President, CITU State Committee criticized the Andaman & Nicobar Administration for the inaction on the part of the Labour Department in resolving various pending issues of workers working in private and government sector. He said that due to the wrong clarification/advice rendered by the Labour Commissioner, wages of Sunday weekly off of thousands of workers have been recovered with retrospective effect from 2017. He blamed the BJP government at the centre and A & N Administration for treating the daily rated workers of Forest Department as seasonal workers and changing the workers on rotational basis. This has been adopted by the Administration to deny the 1/30th of pay plus benefits to the daily rated workers of Forest Department. He demanded that minimum wages should be made applicable to all scheme workers like ASHA Workers, Anganwadi Workers, Community Resource Persons of Rural Development Department, etc.  

Surendran Pillai, President, CITU State Committee presided over the meeting. In his address, he briefly explained the unfavourable attitude on the part of the Administration on the revision of minimum wages and declared that CITU will resort to more intensified agitation on various pending issues of workers in the islands. SP Kalairajan, Secretary, CITU State Committee proposed vote of thanks. 

BC Bhattacharjee and M. Boominathan, Vice Presidents and Anand Rajan, M. Yugandar and P. Sathyapal Secretaries of CITU State Committee led the mass demonstration and procession.  Hundreds of workers working in various departments and private sector participated in the programme.