Workers flay low minimum wages, graftNovember 23rd, 2011 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) Hundreds of workers affiliated to the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) took out a rally here Wednesday to protest against low minimum wages, frequent hikes in petrol prices, corruption and other issues.
The protesters, from across the country, gathered at six places in the capital and marched towards parliament.
“We strongly oppose petrol price hikes. We think that the central government is indiscriminately raising prices,” BMS national general secretary Baij Nath Rai said.
The workers demanded fixation of higher minimum wages, restoration of the old pension scheme for government employees, taking action against black money and improving social security for organised sector workers.
“Thousands of workers from different industries have gathered to knock the doors of parliament against corruption, price rise and for strict implementation of the labour laws,” Rai said.
Holding banners, flags and raising slogans, the crowd burnt effigies representing the government and contractors, blaming them for exploiting workers and labourers.
“The social security boards should be constituted immediately and the minimum pension too should be raised to Rs.3,000,” N.T. Ravi, a labourer from Andhra Pradesh holding a banner that read ‘The fight for our rights has begun, we are awake now’, told IANS.
According to the regional organising secretary of BMS Pawan Kumar, the government should reveal the names of those having accounts in foreign banks so that black money is brought back to the country.
“The government says it can’t disclose the names of the corporates having foreign accounts because they are the backbone of our nation’s economy. So that means our country is being run by thieves,” Kumar told IANS.
Meanwhile, the rally caused traffic jams in and around central Delhi’s business and shopping hub Connaught Place. Serpentine queues of vehicles were seen for hours in the vicinity.
“I’ve been stuck here (Barakhamba Road) since an hour and getting late for office. Why do they organise rallies on weekdays? Disturbing others to protest for your cause is very selfish,” said Anmol Gupta, 36, an executive at a Connaught Place-based insurance firm.
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Tags: black money, bms, central delhi, connaught place, foreign banks, general secretary, government employees, improving social security, labour laws, minimum pension, minimum wages, nath, organising secretary, pawan kumar, pension scheme, petrol prices, price hikes, sector workers, social security boards, traffic jams