Supply of essential commodities especially onion and potato may be affected from December 16 as the union of Mathadi workers (head loaders) has cleared that mathadi workers would not lift sacks weighing above 50 kg. Mathadi workers have been demanding for a long time that the weight of sacks should not be 50 kgs as per the law.
In mid-November, Mathadi workers had planned to intensify their protest as their demand to limit the weight of sacks up to 50 kg is not being implemented. Taking note, Balasaheb Patil, Minister of Marketing and Co-operation held a meeting with the unions and asked the secretary to direct all the trade associations and stakeholders to implement the circular strictly from December 16.
Narendra Patil, a former member of the legislative council (MLC) and Mathadi union leaders said that there is a clear guideline from the central and state government regarding the weight of the sacks. However, the APMC administration is not paying heed and traders continue to violate the law.
Even, functioning of the onion and potato market of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) had come to a standstill after Mathadi workers (head loaders) stopped work in February this year. They had demanded that the weight of the sacks packed with produce like onion, potato or garlic should not be above 50 kgs. Later, traders sought 15 days to follow the state government as well as the central government guidelines and bring down the weight of sacks to 50 kgs.
For the last several months, Mathadi workers were demanding to bring down the weight of the sacks. However, the Mathadi union alleged that traders were only promising, but doing nothing in this regard.
Patil said that from December 16, head-loaders will not lift sacks above 50 kg and stop the works if they are forced. On the contrary, an official from the APMC administration said that produce arrives at APMC from across the country and it is very difficult to check the weight of each sack. “Traders or farmers are not aware of the law or any reason they send their products in sacks as per their convenience,” added the official.
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