Udupi: The members of district Beedi Workers’ Federation, under the aegis of CITU, staged a protest demanding minimum wages, Provident Fund facility and other benefits, in front of DC’s office in Manipal . Hundreds of Beedi workers took out a protest rally from Tiger Circle to the DC office in Manipal against the government’s negligence, and passive attitude of Beedi company owners.
The protesters demanded a wage of Rs 350 for rolling 1,000 Beedis and urged the government to provide BPL cards and free housing for Beedi workers. Udupi district Beedi Workers’ Federation president Mahabala Vadera said that the Central government has been planning to completely ban tobacco products by 2020. If this plan is realised, the Beedi industry will be completely shut down. Hence, it is necessary that the government provides an alternate arrangement for the Beedi workers, who are solely dependent on working in Beedi factory. Beedi industry should not be closed without providing proper jobs to Beedi workers.
He expressed concern that around three crore people throughout the country involved in the tobacco industry, would lose their jobs. Mahabala further pointed out that the Beedi companies have not been provided with minimum wages to Beedi workers despite the state government orders.
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