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Ambur union leader held for flouting COVID rules

General secretary of Ambur based Tamil Nadu Trade Union Centre (TNTUC) J Ruban was arrested by Ambur police when he along with three others were seen depositing post cards — in the Ambur sub post office — and allegedly flouting COVID restriction on Saturday.

Ambur union leader held for flouting COVID rules
Trade union leader J Ruban posting a card before being arrested in Ambur on Saturday


The post cards were addressed to the Chief Minister’s special cell in protest against bounced cheques valued Rs.10 crore issued to 400 of 700 workers by a major local tannery. Speaking to DT Next Ruban said, “My colleagues and I were distributing ‘kabasura kudineer’ after getting permission from the authorities in Ambur town. After this, all of us went to the sub post office to send post cards. Some of the people who wanted the ‘kabasura kudineer’ also joined us before police came and charged for flouting restrictions under Section 144. It was only after I told them that the women had come for ‘kabasura kudineer’ and the cops allowed them to go and brought me and three others to a private marriage hall.” 

“The group posted a few post cards and handed over 2000 more to the sub-post master,” eyewitnesses said. The postcard move was triggered after a leading tannery laid off 2400 workers in stages due to lockdown and pandemic. “700 workers were given ex-gratia payment in cheques and 400 of them bounced when sent them for collection, they bounced. Even in this the company had not paid them fully, but had only given part payment. I was trying to bring this aberration to the notice of the CM’s cell when the police who said they were alerted by phone arrested me,” Ruban said.

Affected tannery workers present said “we hoped to get some relief with this money but when the cheques bounced we do not know what to do as the company will not come to our aid. Even money lenders refuse to lend us money as they know that our repayment chances are very slim due to lack of work.”

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