Mangaluru, Oct 13, 2015: Several Beedi workers’ organisations affiliated to CITU are planning to hold protest against the total tobacco ban and implementation of COTPA Act. Trade unions are opposing the implementation of COTPA Act citing that thousands of families that depend on beedi rolling in Dakshina Kannada district will be forced to commit suicide if they lose their lively hood by the implementation of the Act.
The trade unions demand alternative solution for beedi workers, who are on the verge of losing their livelihoods due to the implementation of the Act.
Venoor Zonal Beedi Workers Association and Belthangady Taluk Beedi Workers Association of CITU will hold protests against the implementation of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 or COTPA Act.
Association members will organize a protest in front of the Belthangady taluk office on October 26. They demand that COTPA Act should not be implemented until thousands of beedi workers in Dakshina Kannada district are provided alternative job and rehabilitation.
Shivakumar, president of Venoor Zonal Beedi Workers Association said the government should provide alternative jobs to all beedi workers in the district before implementing COTPA Act. "It is question of our right to live. Government should provide us alternative jobs, compensation, pension and rehabilitation before implementing the Act. Beedi industry has provided jobs to thousands of people in Dakshina Kannada district. Large number of people in rural areas depend mainly on beedi rolling for their livelihood. Hence, the Act should not be implemented in Dakshina Kannada district without solving workers’ problems," he said. He said that a series of protests will be held to press for their demands. In the first phase, protests will be held in taluk centres and a mass protest will be held in district headquarters soon.