PF stir by garment workers rocks Bengaluru, govt puts new rules on hold

Massive agitations rocked Bengaluru's Electronic City on Tuesday as factory workers protested pension fund withdrawal norms, news channels reported. Faced with violent opposition, the government has put on hold the new rules.

For the second consecutive day, traffic was disrupted on the arterial Hosur Road after thousands of agitators assembled at the Bommanahalli Junction, The Hindu reported. Protesters also pelted stones at the Hebbagodi police station and set seized vehicles which had been parked there on fire, according to a DNA report.

Even as several police personnel were injured in the violence, the police have arrested 20 people, according to a Hindustan Times report.

As tension escalated in Karnataka's capital, 62 people, including 24 policemen were injured in the violence, according to a report by The Times of India.

Karnataka police. File photo. Getty images

Karnataka police. File photo. Getty images

On Monday, around 15,000 women garment workers on Monday staged a massive demonstration on the outskirts of Bengaluru, protesting change in the Provident Fund Act, which denies the right to withdraw employer's contribution till 58 years.

Dramatic television visuals showed policemen in riot gear beating up protesters and firefighters trying to douse vehicles which were set on flames.

Irate protesters in the city on Tuesday torched two buses on Hosur Road and a truck carrying an LPG cylinder was also set on fire, India Today reported. Police lobbed tear gas shells at protesters in an attempt to quell the agitation.

On Monday, terming the move to deny workers their fair due as anti-labour, Garment and Textile Workers' Union leader K R Jayaram said the amendment to the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, would also make them wait till 58 years to withdraw the employer's contribution though they can withdraw their contribution to PF before turning 58.

Hundreds of women workers from five garment units, including Shahi Exports Ltd., Mohan Exports and Jockey, struck work at noon on Monday and marched to the Bengaluru-Chennai National Highway and Bengaluru-Mysuru state highway, blocking vehicular movement and causing massive traffic jams for over four hours.

Bengaluru city has a large number of garment units which employ about 5 lakh workers, according to NDTV.

With inputs from IANS

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Updated Date: Apr 19, 2016 18:36:28 IST

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