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Hindus Protest Storming Of Sydney Temple By Labor Union

on 2001/3/12 8:49:02 ( 1201 reads )


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, March 11, 2001: The Hindu community in Australia's premier harbor city is up in arms after the left-wing Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) stormed the Sri Venkateswara Temple here in Helensburg, taking eight construction workers with them on the charge they were being underpaid and exploited. The Hindu Council of Australia (fax: 011 61 2 9544 4957) will hold a protest rally on March 25 against the move. The head of the temple management committee, Perumal Janarthan, denied the charges and blamed the trade union of being insensitive to Hinduism. The protesters will meet at Sydney Town Hall and march to the Parliament House. "We have made it clear that we are not constructing a five-star hotel but a Hindu temple and workers are not here to earn wages but to perform their religious duties as volunteers," Janarthan told IANS. The workers were living by the religious tenets followed by those involved in temple construction and provided all facilities, he said. "We have been spending about US$10,256 on each worker every year for meals, clothes, accommodation, airfares and other expenses," he said. The workers are believed to have been taken to Wollongong by CFMEU, who are affiliated to the opposition Labor Party, and the action has taken on political overtones. Australian Hindus are seeking support from Hindus in other countries.

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