SHILLONG: When the mudslinging, name-callings and political slugfest in the election season are clouding the real issues of the common man, a group of 13 organisations, including the Thma u Rangli Juki (TUR), has come forward to apprise the leaders and prospective representatives of the demands of the working class.
TUR, along with workers’ unions and the hawkers’ association, handed over a working people’s charter to all political parties on Wednesday under the campaign “We must have bread and roses too”.
The charter highlights various demands for which the representatives of the working class are seeking commitments from those going into the 2018 electoral battle.
“It is an open challenge to politicians if they dare to fulfil the working people’s charter. They will have to answer/clarify and show their commitment to the charter within February 20,” TUR member Angela Rangad told reporters earlier in the day.
Increase in minimum wage, end of casual workers, friendly labour rights and transparency in appointment are some of the demands in the charter.
Speaking about the campaign, Rangad said it dated back to the 1912 textile strike at Lawrence in Massachusetts in the US where the slogan, ‘Bread and roses’, was coined.
The activist said workers should get wages and security they deserve as well as demanded for improved working conditions and suitable environment.
Opposing the government’s proposed move to casualise and contractualise Grade IV and Grade III jobs, Rangad said, “For casual employees, the onus of legal responsibility is on the employers. The condition of work should be a dignified one. Stop contractualisation and casualisation of work.”
The minimum daily wage in the state is one of the lowest in the country, informed Rangad and demanded better pay to uplift the living standards of these people.
The charter was given to both regional and national parties. The organisations will make public the parties’ commitments or non-commitments after the deadline.