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TN This Week: Nurses, TANGEDCO Gangmen Protest Demanding Permanent Jobs

Several hundred nurses, appointed on contract during the first and second waves of the pandemic, resorted to a flash road blockade on June 7.
Image Credit: R Prakash

Image Credit: R Prakash

The Tamil Nadu government has constituted committees this week to ensure the implementation of a 4% reservation for differently-abled persons and to take steps to ban the online Rummy

Fresh COVID-19 infections are on the rise, with the state reporting above 200 infections after three months. The health secretary has advised the district collectors to stay vigilant.

Several reports have emerged about the prevention of child marriages, with 30 such marriages being stopped in Vizhupuram and Kallakurichi districts in two months. 

The volunteers of Illam Thedi Kalvi (Education at doorsteps), a flagship program of the state government, have complained of not receiving their incentive for several months. 

The government faced criticism over the closure of kindergarten classes in government schools, citing a lack of teachers, but was forced to withdraw the decision. The department required more than 2,000 teachers to run the section in the next academic year.

NewsClick brings a round-up of the happenings across Tamil Nadu this week.

NURSES DEMAND PERMANENT JOBS

Several hundred nurses, appointed on contract during the first and second waves of the pandemic, resorted to a flash road blockade on June 7, demanding permanent jobs. The nurses were appointed through the medical recruitment board (MRB) and paid under Rs 8,000 per month.

The health department had agreed to appoint the nurses to regular positions based on the vacancies arising, but the process is yet to begin. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had promised to regularise all the contract workers in its election manifesto. 

The nurses were booked for protesting without permission and detained by the police. The nurses' associations have demanded the DMK government fulfil its promise. 

FORD WORKERS CONTINUE TO PROTEST

With uncertainty looming large on their future, the Ford India LImited’s Chennai plant workers are on strike demanding concrete solutions from the management. Even though the workers continue to strike work, the company has set June 14 as the date to resume production in the plant. There has been no production in the plant from May 30 owing to the workers’ protest.

The anxiety of the workers magnified after Tata Motors, Ford India Limited and the Government of Gujarat signed a tripartite agreement for the takeover of the Sanand plant to manufacture electric vehicles by Tata Motors. 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) held a solidarity protest and demanded the management to announce the plans. The union also demanded the state government and labour department end the workers' misery. 

NON-COOPERATION OF PRIESTS INCREASE TENSION 

The Dikshitars (priests) of Chidambaram Nataraja temple continue to oppose enquiry into financial mismanagement. The temple is managed and administered by a group of Dikshitars. Several allegations of financial mismanagement and denying permission to a section of devotees have been long pending.

A government team was turned away by the Dikshitars, following which the minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) paid a visit to strike a cordial relationship with them. The minister went on to claim that the government will act as a bridge between the devotees and the Dikshitars.

The temple administration has run into controversy multiple times, with 20 priests being booked under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, for hurling abuses at a woman devotee. 

GANGMEN OF ELECTRICITY BOARD PROTEST

The gangmen workers of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) held a protest demanding regularisation of work, fair wages and other benefits in Chennai on June 10. 

The workers have completed the prescribed training period and are awaiting regularisation, but the government has refused to consider their demands. The workers allege being mistreated by the officials in the department. The protesting workers also demanded jobs for the kin of the gangmen who had died at work.

The workers also demanded the implementation of leave policies as those extended to regular workers of the corporation and consideration for promotion as per the qualifications.  

EMBRYO RACKET BUSTED

An embryo racket was busted in Erode district when a 16-year-old girl complained of embryo extraction after being raped multiple times. The health department has decided to hold a detailed inquiry on the shocking incident, which came to light on June 4. 

Two private hospitals in Erode and Salem districts were raided following the expose, whereas the enquiry seems to expand towards hospitals in neighbouring states. 

The mother of the minor girl, the mother’s partner, and two others have been booked under the Prevention of Children Against Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act. The health department has decided to crack down on suspected private hospitals across the state. 

FARMERS OPPOSE DRINKING WATER PROJECT

Farmers of Pollachi region in Coimbatore district have opposed the drinking water project for Oddanchatram town in Dindigul district, which plans to take water from the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (PAP). 

The government of Tamil Nadu has allocated Rs 930 crores for the execution of the project. The farmers allege that the irrigation works will be affected by around 4.25 lakh acres if water is taken from the PAP. The farmers have threatened a series of protests if the project is not scrapped. 

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