Kerala’s Firebrand Women’s Union Pembilai Orumai Merges With AAP

Orumai leader says union is still strong that they have almost 3,400 members. 

1 min read
A women’s union strike. (Photo Courtesy:<i> The News Minute</i>)

The Pembilai Orumai, a women’s union of tea garden workers, which brought Munnar to a standstill for almost nine days with their stir a year ago, has merged with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), as officially declared on Wednesday. Orumai leaders Lissy Sunny, J Rajeswari, Stella Mary and a few others have been in Delhi for the last few days conducting talks with AAP leaders.

On Wednesday, in the presence of Orumai leaders, AAP MLA Somnath Bharti and Labour Minister Gopal Rai announced the merger.

Confirming the news, Lissy Sunny told The News Minute that Orumai was in need of powerful support and their principles didn’t match with other mainstream parties.

We had conducted many meetings before taking the decision. It was our collective decision. After returning back to Kerala we will decide on our other political plans. We were in need of powerful backing. No main parties in Kerala have helped us, and our principles don’t match to them either.
Lissy Sunny, Orumai Leader

Orumai’s other firebrand leader, Gomathi, who contested local elections and became a panchayat member, had later joined the CPI(M).

There were reports that after the initial protest that had shaken the Munnar, Orumai has been losing its strength. Strong opposition from other traditional trade unions among tea garden workers has hit their influence, as many of the workers quit the union and joined the other main unions.

However, Lissy Sunny says Orumai is still strong, and that they have almost 3,400 members in the union. “Nothing has weakened us, now the new merger will strengthen us more,” she told The News Minute.

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