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Beedi workers sore over delayed payment of dearness allowance

Staff Reporter

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Seeking facilities: Members of Bangalore District Beedi Mazdoor Union staging a protest in front of Labour Commissioner’s office in Bangalore on Tuesday.

BANGALORE: Hundreds of beedi workers staged a demonstration in front of the Labour Commissioner’s office here on Tuesday seeking action against owners of beedi units who have allegedly delayed payment of dearness allowance to the employees.

The protesters squatted in front of the Labour Commissioner’s office on Bannerghatta Road and raised slogans against owners of beedi units. The demonstration was held under the aegis of Bangalore District Beedi Mazdoor Union, an affiliate of CITU.

Union general secretary Basamma, who led the protest, said that, according to a tripartite agreement signed in January 2007, the beedi industry owners were to pay Rs. 4,500 to each employee as dearness allowance before June 30. As they had failed to pay up even after the deadline, the State Government should initiate action against them and ensure that the entire amount is paid at once, she said.

In a memorandum submitted to the Labour Commissioner, the union urged State Government to ensure that all the beedi industries paid minimum wages as fixed by it. The Government should come out with a community housing project for beedi workers, most of whom are women from minority communities, the memorandum said.

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