Workers threaten indefinite strike over privatisation

Continuing their protest against the handing over of Anganwadi Kendras to Vedanta Foundation in Chikkaballapur Lok Sabha constituency, the anganwadi workers and assistants took out a massive rally in the City on Thursday. The protest was led by Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

The protesters took a 7 km rally from inspection bungalow to Deputy Commissioner’s Office in the city, before laying  a siege to the latter.

The workers and assistants said that would not allow privatisation of Kendras at any cost and threatened to go on an indefinite strike in support of their demand. The protesters had come prepared for the dharna many had  brought food, rugs and bags along with them.

They alleged that the State government which had planned to close Kannada-medium schools and in collusion with Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily to close down the anganwadi kendras which provides employment to lakhs of people across the State.

“The government wants  to escape from its duty by handing over the affairs of anganwadi to Vedanta Foundation. In the coming days, the anganwadi workers and assistants appointed by government may lose their jobs,” they added. They held Moily and State government responsible for the current debacle.

“It was the duty of government to protect the anganwadi kendras and to safeguard the interests of workers and assistants. Sadly, the government is running away from its responsibilities,” they added.

The State government has the resources and is competent to handle the affairs of the Kendras. There is no need for the privatisation, they said. “Who will take care of the families of the workers and assistants if they loose job?” they added.

CITU leader Siddagangappa who spoke on the occasion said the talks between the Anganwandi workers and officers of the Department of Women and Child Welfare over the Vedanta issue had failed.

“Indefinite strike will be staged in front of the offices of Deputy Commissioners in Bangalore Urban, Rural, Ramanagara and Chikkaballapur districts till the government revokes its order.

CITU leader B N Munikrishna said that a majority of the protesters were from the taluks of Chikkaballapur, Gudibande, Gauribidanur and Bagepalli. Many progressive organisations have supported the strike, he added.

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