Manual workers win back pay in Tamil Nadu
Over 440 manual scavengers and overhead tank operators in the Madurai area recently received back payments thanks to their union activity. These payments were substantial, ranging from $NZ165-$724 per person, with others currently waiting to be processed.
Ten years ago UnionAID helped scavengers and overhead tank operators establish their own unions and have their work recognised by local and village government. These unions have continued to operate and their win illustrates the on-going and significant changes that organising and empowering working people can bring.
In addition to these achievements, in the past year the Loadman’s Union successfully negotiated fixed pay rates according to weight of their loads. Three new cooperatives for jaggery (palm sugar) producers, construction, and catering workers have also been established, and cooperative management, business training, and savings groups, provided to their 275 members. All these successes are due to the tireless work of our partner, Manohari Doss and her team from the Tamil Nadu Labour Union.