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Monday, Feb 03, 2003

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TUs threaten action against liberalisation

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HALF-a-million employees representing all trade unions, except the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), would march towards Parliament on February 26 to protest the `endless misery' the working class is being subjected to in the context of `reckless implementation' of liberalisation by the Centre.

According to Mr Gurdas Dasgupta, General Secretary, All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), major trade unions would observe an all-India general strike if the Centre continued with its anti-labour policies. Mr Dasgupta stated this while addressing a meet-the-press programme organised here by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club. He warned of prolonged agitations in all core sectors, including coal, oil and banking.

Almost 10 million workers had already been thrown out of jobs from both the private and the public sectors during the past four years. An estimated six-lakh medium-scale industries have had to close down as fallout of the harmful policies being pursued by the Centre.

`Erred on Coca-Cola': Replying to another question, Mr Dasgupta said the previous CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government in the State had erred in providing clearance to the multinational Coca-Cola company for setting up a bottling plant in the drought-prone Palakkad district.

"If it was indeed okayed by the LDF Government, it is regrettable. But I should know whether the matter was discussed in the Cabinet of the Council of Ministers at all," Mr Dasgupta said.

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