Mangaluru, May 02, 2016: Speaking at the Labour Day celebrations at Ravindra Kala Bhavan in Mangaluru on May 1, Sunday, District in-charge minister B Ramanath Rai has called upon labour class to be cautious of organisations attempting to break their unity on the lines of caste, creed and religion. Effort is at large to divide workers on caste lines, says Ramanath Rai
Minister Rai said that communal organisations were attempting to divide workers and that the labour class should be cautious of those who rule the country with the help of capitalists. He said that the problems faced by workers should be understood in depth to chalk out solutions.
“The Congress government has always initiated pro-labour policy and ensured that the welfare programmes reach the labour class,” the minister said. He said that the beedi industry was facing uncertain future owing to “anti-labour” policy of the Union government and a struggle should be taken against such policy.
Minister Rai said that communal organisations were levelling allegations against Nehru family, which always stood for the labour class. ’Dakshina Kannada Jilla Karmika Parishat’ President and MLC Ivan D’Souza said that the labour class face a lot of hardship to secure their rights. “The benefits of several programmes of the government do not reach the workers due to cold attitude of officials. The interests of the workers is better served with the successful implementation of such welfare schemes,” he said.
The beedi industry is in doldrums with the enforcement of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). Around 4 lakh labourers who depend on beedi industry directly and indirectly will lose their livelihood. The government should chalk out a programme to start garment industries in each taluk to provide alternative employment to the beedi workers, he added.
There is a need to create awareness on the facilities offered by the Beedi Welfare Fund. The problems pertaining to the setting up of a hospital for beedi workers should be sorted out. Housing colonies should come up in every district for the labour class.