CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran inaugurating a dharna by cashew workers in Kollam on Monday.—Photo: C. Suresh Kumar
State secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Kanam Rajendran has called upon the State government to take over private cashew factories which are being kept closed by the owners.
“Such factory owners are challenging the government and the cashew workers,” he said.
Mr. Rajendran said this while addressing cashew workers here after inaugurating the 101-hour dharna at Chinnakada here by the AITUC-affiliated Cashew Workers Central Council on Monday. In 1979 when factory owners resorted to the same modus operandi to deny fair wages to the workers, the then C. Achtha Menon government countered that threat by taking over the closed factories, he recalled. It was that bold move which led to the creation of the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation which played the role of a model employer in the sector to ensure fair wages to the employees.
The dharna is being organised by the council to press for the demand of urgent government intervention to reopen the factories which are being kept closed after the last wage revision.
The State president of the council A. Fazaluddin Haq presided over the dharna. AITUC general secretary, K.P. Rajendran and CPI leaders K. Prakash Babu, K.R. Chandra Mohanan, J. Chinchurani and R. Ramachandran, MLA spoke.