Workers' welfare a core agenda of Cong: Sonia Gandhi

Written by Press Trust of India | Kollam (Ker) | Updated: Feb 16 2014, 05:17am hrs
Stating that the welfare of the labour force had always been a core agenda of her party, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today said the party was evolving national policy to make minimum wages statutory for workers in all sectors.

Addressing a rally of the pro-Congress trade union outfit INTUC here, Gandhi said a social security fund for the workers in the unorganised sector was also on the anvil.

In a dig at the CPIM), she said though that party gave promises to the workers, it was the Congress which had enacted most of the laws for the welfare of the workers and protect their rights.

"CPI-M gave many promises to the workers in Kerala and in the country. But it is the Congress governments that enacted the laws for the welfare of the labour force," she said.

She said Congress was aware of the problems faced by traditional industries like cashew, coir, handicraft and fisherfolk. It was important to modernise the traditional sector through proper research and development programmes, she said.

Referring to exploitation of migrant workers coming to Kerala from other states by labour contractors, she said this was "something unacceptable."

Lauding Kerala's achievements in social development, Gandhi said organised struggles of the working force had also contributed to the state emerging as a model for other parts of the country.

"Kerala is the pride of India in terms of social development, poverty eradication, education and life expectancy. This is a great achievement. The struggles of the workers of Kerala had also contributed to these achievements," Gandhi said.

INTUC president G Sanjeeva Reddy, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC president V M Sudheeran and INTUC state president R Chandrasekharan also spoke.