The functioning of the Government Secreteriate in Trivandrum and all other district collectorates came to a standstill for the better part of the day on Wednesday when thousands of workers belonging to CITU laid siege to it raising the slogan “Job, wages, and food.”
While the siege was officially stated to begin at 8 a.m., workers started arriving well before that, sealing all entry points to the Secreteriate and collectorates. Protesting workers were seen seated before the entry points under make-shift pandals. They continued there till the siege came to end at 2 p.m. with an oath to fight the “anti-people” policies of the Central and State governments. CITU-affiliated workers from various sectors started coming in droves to the collectorate by 7 a.m.
Apart from workers of the traditional sector, employees from public sector undertakings, the KSEB, the KSRTC, the Kollam City Corporation, shops and other commercial establishments, autorickshaw drivers, lorry divers, head-load workers, toddy tappers and beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme joined the programme.
The siege was inaugurated in Thiruvananthapuram by M.M. Lawrence, at Kollam by K O Habib, at Alappuzha by P.K. Gurudasan, at Ernakulam by Elaramam Karim, at Trissur byr K.M. Sudhakaran in Kozhikode by K.N. Ravindranath, at Kannur by Anathalavattom Anandan, and at Kasaragod by K.K. Divakaran