For the first time in the annals trade union history, a woman, Dr K Hemalata, a medical professional, was elected as the president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) at its 15th national conference which concluded here on Wednesday.
The CITU has about 5,000 trade unions across the country with a total of over 60 lakh members. The five-day CITU conference had begun on November 26.
Born in Andhra Pradesh, Dr Hemalata had her student life in Brahampur in Odisha where she studied medicine at the MKCG Medical College and later quit the job to join the trade union. After the CITU’s brainstorming sessions over workers’ right, the conference resolved that the State and Union Governments should pay
wages as per the Supreme Court guideline of equal wage for equal work. This includes daily wage earners, contractual workers and ad-hoc employees.
The resolution stated that the CITU would fight for the interests of the Anganwadi, ICDS, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan workers and Shiksha Sevakas. In the January 2017, the CITU would launch a nationwide movement to get these workers under the labour fold so that they get proper wages.
The outgoing president AK Padmanabhan presided over the conference. Other officer-bearers who got elected include Parliament member Tapa Sen as general secretary and Ml Malkottia as treasurer.