Mumbai: Mathadi workers' strike sends vegetables, fruits' prices soaring

The one-day statewide strike to protest the government’s decision to make changes in the Mathadi Act proved costly for citizens, as the price of fruits and vegetables increased by as much as 20 per cent on Monday

Over 297 APMC markets across Maharashtra were shut on Monday, after the state government’s decision to make alterations in the Mathadi Workers Act 1969, did not go down too well with the wholesale market loaders. The break in supply of vegetables and fruits pushed up the prices in the retail market.

Retailers across the city increased the price of fruits and vegetables after the APMC market remained closed on Monday. Pics/Atul Kamble and Sameer Markande
Retailers across the city increased the price of fruits and vegetables after the APMC market remained closed on Monday. Pics/Atul Kamble and Sameer Markande

Aside from the usual week off on Sunday, when Vashi’s APMC also remained shut on Monday, vegetable prices in the retail market increased by 10-20 per cent, as compared to the price last week. However, price of leafy vegetables did not show much fluctuation in the retail market.

Fruit vendors said that the gap in supply increased the price of fruits by R10-50, depending on the fruit and its quality. Vendors at various retail markets of the city said that the price could go either way on Tuesday, depending whether stocks will reach APMC or not.

Meanwhile, members of the mathadi union have threatened to intensify their agitation if the government refuses to pay heed to them. Members of the Maharashtra Rajya Mathadi Transport General Kamgar Union alleged that the changes in the Act is only for the benefit of the industry section, and will have an adverse impact on the lives of mathadi workers. More than six lakh workers were on strike yesterday.

Voices

Sachin, vendor from Byculla vegetable market
We usually expect a drop in supply by the end of the week, but since this time it was for two continuous days, the vegetable prices went up by Rs 5-10 per kg.

Sanjay Kahurakte, vegetable vendor from Pali Hill retail market in Bandra
Vendors who did not have sufficient stock increased the price to keep a balance in the demand-supply ratio.

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