Update : AICCTU Beedi Workers Workshop at Tirunelveli

As a part of the membership drive among beedi workers some macro and micro investigations were taken up and with the findings of these preliminary investigations a workshop was held in Tirunelveli on March 14. A paper was presented which narrated the socio-economic and working conditions of the beedi workers. 65 comrades including 37 women participated. Comrades Kumarasami, NK Natarajan, and KG Desikan attended the workshop.

The following demands were raised in the workshop, and these demands will be highlighted in a campaign in the villages among beedi workers 15 days from April 1 onwards: Include all beedi workers in the BPL list; Scrap loans of beedi workers upto Rs.20,000 per worker; Construct 10,000 houses per year out of the cess fund; Increase salary to Rs 150 per day; Amend Beedi Cigar Working Conditions Act and Tamilnadu Rules suitably at the earliest so that they encompass millions of home workers instead of a few thousand industrial workers; Lakhs of beedi workers are not covered by welfare legislations– conduct a census of beedi workers immediately; Stop spending 65% of cess fund on administrative expenses, let the government bear these expenses; 12 inspectors for 6 lakh workers is a travesty of justice; appoint at least 60 inspectors and implement labour laws strictly and improve sanitation and health conditions in beedi neighbourhoods.

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