Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thousands of garment workers blocked the busy Hosur Road on Monday, leading to traffic jams. The protestors even burnt tyres on the road, protesting against the amendment to the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. Photo: Special arrangement
Thousands of garment workers blocked the busy Hosur Road on Monday, leading to traffic jams. The protestors even burnt tyres on the road, protesting against the amendment to the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. Photo: Special arrangement


With over 10,000 workers staging protests on Hosur Road, Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway, traffic has been severely affected

Nearly 10,000 garment workers came out to the streets on Monday at Bommanahalli and Maddur to protest against the amendment to the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.

While the Hosur Road was blocked by garment workers of five factories, including Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd., K. Mohan and Co Exports Pvt. Ltd. and Jockey, in Bommnaahalli, workers of Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd. in Jajjalagere Industrial Area, Maddur taluk, blocked the busy Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway.

Traffic movement at Electronics City and surrounding areas was severely affected for over three hours. Local residents have been helping the traffic police to clear the bottleneck.

On the busy Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway, protestors blocked the road leading to Mysuru. The traffic police allowed two-way vehicular movement on the other side of the road. Some vehicles were also diverted via Malavalli-K.M. Doddi Road to avoid congestion of Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway. The protestors later staged a protest at T.B. Circle in Madur.

Amendment

According to Jayaram K.R. from the Garment and Textile Workers’ Union, the protest was against the union government’s amendment of the Act. As per the new amendment, people will be able to withdraw only their (employee’s) contribution to their provident fund accounts. They will be able to withdraw the employer’s contribution only after they are 58-years-old.

Stating that this was “anti-workers”, Mr. Jayaram said that if there was no contribution to the provident fund, the workers will be entitled to only three years’ of interest on their employer’s contribution. “The main contention is that many workers of the unorganised sectors are not sure of being employed till they are 58-years-old. Workers, who are over 40 years, are unsure, as they may not be able to find suitable jobs,” he said.

Signature campaign

He said that a meeting with all Central trade unions had been fixed on April 26 to discuss the next course of action. “We have also started a signature campaign against the amendment. We hope to collect at least one lakh signatures by May 5, following which a memorandum against the amendment will be submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he added.

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