Tuesday, April 30, 2019

R Balaji Chennai | Updated on April 29, 2019 

Trade unions are miffed with the Election Commission over its ambiguous stance on the unions’ organising rallies and public meetings on May 1, which is International Labour Day.

CITU representatives told BusinessLine that the authorities this year have taken an unprecedented stance because the election code of conduct is in place. Police permission is being denied to the trade unions to conduct rallies and organise public meetings on May 1.

A Soundararajan, a CITU leader, pointed out that May Day has been conducted on earlier occasions without any restrictions even during elections. But this time the events are being curtailed.

Despite representations to the Elections Commissioner and the DGP concerned, a clear order has not gone out, he said.

Police are denying permission for rallies and public meetings. In a few places they are allowing one or the other. Even though voting has concluded in Tamil Nadu, they are stating the code of conduct is in place, he said.

However, the CITU, AITUC and other unions are clear that May Day events will be organised as usual.

K Thiruselvan, Assistant General Secretary, CITU Tamil Nadu, said the authorities have pulled down union flagpoles even though they are not political flags. He felt that the Election Commission had exceeded its authority. May 1 is a government holiday and observed as a Workers’ Day globally. It is not a political event. But the local authorities are not respecting the sentiments of workers, he said.

The trade unions have categorically decided to hold May Day events, including rallies followed by public meetings, as usual in the district headquarters, he said.


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