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|July , 1997||
Bombay workers to protest against privatisation
The trade unions of office and factory workers of Bombay plan to march to the legislative assembly on Tuesday to protest against privatisation, liberalisation and the contractisation of labour.
The march will start from Azad Maidan at 4 pm and will get support from 100,000 hawkers who will close down their stalls at 12 pm, said Kamgar Sanghatana Samyukta Kriti Samiti convenor R G Karnik in a press statement.
The march is a reaction to the fifth central pay commission report, which has recommended privatisation of various government undertakings, from ordnance factories to the mint, an increasing role for the private sector in rail and road transport, health and education services, banking, insurance etc, abolition of 350,000 vacant posts and 30 per cent reduction in the remaining staff.
Already, 250,000 industrial units have been closed down and 100,000 public sector employees retired through voluntary retirement schemes. The victims of VRS are far more in the private sector, said Karnik, claiming the city's textile workers have reduced from 200,00 to a little over 50,000. Thousands of workers have lost work since companies like Godrej, Mahindra and Mahindra, Larsen and Toubro began giving work on contract, he said, claiming the state government too was handing over 48 ports, including Dabhol, Vijaydurg and Ganpatipule to foreign companies for development. It is also pushing thousands of private buses and limousine cars on profitable routes to turn the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation into a sick unit, he said.
The non-availability of jobs is pushing large number of young people into the underworld of criminals, Karnik said, adding that the march would protest against the government's anti-people moves.
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