Workers in Visakhapatnam take out rally against ‘lopsided policies’ of Centre

A rally was taken out by the workers, under the aegis of the trade unions, against the ‘anti-worker’, ‘anti-people’ policies of the Centre, as part of the nationwide rural bandh and industrial strike, from the Saraswathi Park to Asilametta via Dabagardens and RTC Complex in city, on February 16 (Friday).

The rally concluded in a public meeting near the RTC Complex.

Addressing the gathering, CITU national secretary R. Lakshmayya, Port and Harbour Workers Union (AITUC) honorary president J. V. Satyanarayana Murthy alleged that the Narendra Modi government was rolling the red carpet to the corporate groups while trying hard to bring the ‘anti-worker’ and ‘anti-farmer’ policies by amending the Acts made for their welfare.

“The Centre has reneged on its assurance given to farmers, after they waged relentless struggles for a year in Delhi, that the “black laws” would be abolished. With the Centre failing to provide remunerative prices for their produce, the farmers have once again launched an agitation in Delhi. They deplored the attitude of the Centre in allegedly erecting barricades in Delhi, using tear gas to prevent the farmers from entering Delhi and placing nails on the roads.”

They said that the farmers had managed to reach Delhi after facing hurdles created by the government in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. They alleged that the Labour laws, which were in vogue since British rule, were amended by the Centre to favour the corporate groups. The amended Acts would reduce the workers to slaves, they alleged.

Similarly, the amended Motor Vehicle Act, 2019, was nothing but a noose against the necks of the transport workers. They called upon farmers and workers all over the country to be prepared to put an end to these ‘black laws’, by making use of the ballot to defeat the BJP in the ensuing elections.

District general secretaries of CITU, AITUC and IFTU R.K.S.V. Kumar, G.S. Atchutha Rao and M. Lakshmi criticised the adamant attitude of the Centre in not revoking its decision on the privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant though the workers have been agitating for long. They said the industrial strike in Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) and other PSUs was a success. They demanded the continuation of VSP in the public sector, failing which the people would show the BJP the door in the ensuing elections.

CITU leaders P. Mani, G. Appalaraju, M. Subba Rao, O. Appa Rao, AITUC leaders M. Manmadha Rao, Rehaman, Vamana Murthy and Chandrasekhar were among those who participated in the meeting.

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