Mumbai: Veteran trade unionist Datta Iswalkar dies

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Mumbai, Apr 7 (PTI) Veteran trade union leader Datta Iswalkar died at a hospital here on Wednesday evening following an illness, his family said.

He was 72.

He is survived by his wife, son Haresh and three daughters.

'Iswalkar was admitted to the J J Hospital due to a sudden illness on Monday. He was about to undergo a surgery when he breathed his last there on Wednesday evening,' his son Haresh told PTI.

Iswalkar was one of the prominent labour union leaders, who was fighting for the rights of mill workers and labourers.

On October 2, 1989, Iswalkar had formed 'GiraniKamgar Sangharsh Samiti' to fight for the rights of the mill workers, especially after the mill workers' strike in the 1980s, union leader Pravin Ghag said.

Ghag, who is secretary of the Sanghash Samiti, said that Iswalkar was instrumental in starting 10 mills in the city and transferring the houses in mill-owned chawls in the names of mill workers.

In 2000, Iswalkar started an agitation for homes of workers on mill lands and as a result 15,000 mill workers got free homes in the buildings built on mill lands so far, he added. PTI KK NP NP