INDIA: Large gathering of construction sector trade unions stand united for workers’ rights in Tamil Nadu

The Construction and Unorganised Workers Federation (CUWF) – a state-wide federation led by the BWI affiliate TKTMS –organized its State Level General Body meeting on 19th January 2016 at Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu State, India. More than 300 delegates representing different unions attended this meeting.

In his keynote address, Bro.Pon Kumar, President of both the CUWF and TKTMS, stated “The floods in Chennai surrounding areas caused wide spread damage and loss, including 500 precious lives and destroyed thousands of houses. On behalf of CUWF I congratulate all the trade unions, civil society organisations and activists for taking a lead to reach out to the affected and distribute relief material worth millions of rupees to hundreds of affected families in their hour of need.” He made a special mention for the timely financial assistance provided by BWI to the unions in Tamil Nadu.

Among many union issues taken up at the General Body Meeting, the issue of deficient functioning of the state construction welfare board was voiced by many delegates as this was causing continued inconvenience to the workers who are facing inordinate delays in getting the rightful benefits.

Further, the delegates raised concerns on the impending central labour reforms and its dangerous ramifications on the trade unions across the country. The meeting decided to organize demonstrations at all district headquarters all over the state of Tamil Nadu on 16th February 2016 and submit memorandum to the respective district collectors for the effective functioning of welfare boards and addressing all concerns of workers.

It was also resolved that in view of the upcoming state elections, CUWF affiliated unions shall meet all the political party leaders in their organizing districts to sensitize them on labour issues and urge them to incorporate the same in their party manifestos.