Seeking the withdrawal of the recent APMC Amendment Act and fulfilment of other demands, scores of headload workers (Hamalis) of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee stopped work and launched a two-day protest on Wednesday.
Taking out a protest march in the APMC yard, the workers staged a sit-in in front of the administrative office of APMC at Amargol here.
General Secretary of the State APMC Hamali Federation Mahesh Pattar, linguist and activist G.N. Devy, the former MLA N.H. Konaraddi, convenor of Samvidhan Suraksha Samiti Ashraf Ali, president of the Merchants Association Basvaraj Yaklaspur, Congress leader Rajat Ullagaddimath, Gurusiddappa Ambiger of Hamali Federation and others, including office-bearers of the associations of advocates, insurance employees and other organisations, expressed solidarity with them. They all addressed the workers.
The speakers said that the State government had failed to address the issues concerning the workers of the unorganised sector. They strongly condemned the apathetic attitude of the government, including the Chief Minister, towards headload workers.
They said that the successive governments had continued the anti-farmer and anti-labour policies and under the present disposition, wooing of the corporate sector and multinational companies had further increased leading to more problems for the working class.
They then submitted a memorandum seeking withdrawal of the APMC Amendment Act and urged the government to provide a relief of ₹ 7,500 per month to workers of the unorganised sector, apart from foodgrains and essential commodities, for six months. The agitation will continue on Thursday.
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