On the call of Centre of India Trade Unions (CITU), over 500 members of 11 labour unions protested outside Ludhiana deputy commissioner’s office on Sunday and demanded health care insurance among other benefits for Covid warriors. Members of unions including anganwadi workers, kisan union and Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union raised slogans against the Centre and state governments.
Amid surging Covid-19 cases, protesters were seen wearing masks but did not adhere to social distancing norms.
They got into a heated argument with police personnel deployed outside the DC’s office to stop them from entering the premises. Barricades were installed near the office and workers sat there and protested for two hours.
Subhash Rani, general secretary of Anganwadi Mulazam Union, said, “We have been working as Covid-19 warriors since March, but no benefits have been provided to helpers and workers. The government must increase honorarium of workers to Rs 25,000 and provide health care insurance benefits to anganwadi and ASHA workers.”
“The state government assured workers that children between the age of three to six years will be admitted to Anganwadi centres, but this year too, they have been enrolled in government schools. If this continues, anganwadi centres will close down and all workers and helpers will become jobless,” she said.
Meanwhile, Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Ludhiana, protested at Focal Point and textile workers union raised slogans at Tajpur Road against the centre government for changing labour laws.
They said increasing working hours from eight to 12 hours will lead to exploitation.
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