STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 12 December
Thousands of workers today marched to the Parliament to protest against the policies of the UPA-II government terming them as "anti-people".
The march, organised by the Central Trade Union Organisations (CTUOs), witnessed a huge participation of women who came in big contingents, carrying their luggage on head, clutching kids in arms and walking on the streets shouting slogans with clenched fists raised.
The protest consisted members of the AITUC-affiliated unions, public sector units, nationalized banks, private banks, mining workers, Asha and Aaganwadi workers, plantation workers, unorganised workers and labourers from other sectors, government employees and from many small units. Delhi started receiving the toiling masses at Ramlila Maidan from all over the country from December 10 onwards.
Expressing their suffering and intense anger, the people joining the march were shouting slogans like "No to reforms, Contain price-rise, Universalise public distribution system, create more and more jobs, enforce labour laws, provide universal social security cover for all workers, minimum wages of not less than Rs 10,000 and ban contract labour."
The participants for the rally flooding the metropolis under the AITUC banner were from the far off southern states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, then from Manipur, Assam, Bihar, Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and several other states.
Rallyists talked about the retrograde policies of the UPA-II government and how much inflation has hit them, especially the working women who have to slog hard both at office and at home to make ends meet.
The march was joined by workers from different states with differing demands and problems. Bihar delegation of workers was of the view that it is not only the economic woes that are hurting the workers, even political overtones, communal divides, exclusive development plans, corporate concessions and abolition of universal PDS, etc, are hitting the workers.
Tamil Nadu delegation had its own difficult issues to discuss like land and housing rights that are being denied to them along with illegal working conditions at IT companies.
Andhra workers have to face the problems of a new state.
The trade unions participated in the protest march are AITUC, CITU, INTUC, UTUC and other central trade unions. The march was proceeded from the Ramlila Maidan, passed through the main roads and reached Parliament Street.