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Sena’s union for Marathis makes mark

S BALAKRISHNAN

Wednesday 26 May 2004, by BALAKRISHNAN*S.

MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena has floated a new union which will focus on problems faced by Marathi-speaking employees. Called the Shramik Utkarsh Sena (SUS), the outfit was registered three months ago and for starters will take up the cause of workers who have been retrenched or given a bad deal under the voluntary retirement scheme by companies.

SUS general secretary Raja Chougule said, "We have already begun to make an impact within a short period. Marathi-speaking workers who have been let down by other unions are coming to us with their grievances." On Tuesday, SUS got a Worli-based company to give Rs 2.60 lakh each to 21 Marathi-speaking employees who were retrenched without any compensation.

The Sena already has a large trade union, Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (BKS) which is led by senior activists Suryakant Mahadik, who is an ex-MLA, and Kiran Pawaskar. Its new office was inaugurated on Tuesday by Shiv Sena’s executive president Uddhav Thackeray at Shivaji Park .

The difference between BKS and SUS is that while the former has within its fold non-Marathi employees also, SUS will take up the cause of only Marathi-speaking workers. Also, SUS is perceived to be more militant in its approach.

Many activists of the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena (BVS) are active in SUS. For Chougule is the working president of the state unit of BVS. Sources in the Shiv Sena said SUS has its role cut for itself since one of the main reason for the defeat of the party in the recent Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai was the alleged anti-labour policies pursued by the NDA government.

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

in The Times of India, Wednesday, May 26, 2004.

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