BANGALORE: With a focus on negating international claims that the Indian garment industry functions with the help of child and trafficked labour, the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) rolled out an industry-led pan-India programme on compliance in the city. Bangalore, which is one of the most organised apparel clusters and the leading garment manufacturing centres in the country, had various units participating in the one-day workshop.
Inaugurated by Commissioner of Labour S R Umashankar, the event had participants undergoing a training programme based on the code of ethics.
The programme titled, ‘Driving Industry towards Sustainable Human Capital Advancement’ (DISHA) would be a first of its kind public private partnership to be funded by the Ministry of Textiles, with 75 per cent of the project cost coming from the Ministry.
“We need to focus on employee retention and ensure that their safety is the priority so that they are satisfied. The legislations that are in place are outdated and we need to migrate to a five-day work week. This would ensure that the employee cuts out travel time, cost of travel and living for the day and would ensure better satisfaction because they can spend time with family. The wage system needs to further become more rational,” said Jagadish Hinduja, EC member. Reiterating that the workshop has come at the right time, the Labour Commissioner S R Umashankar said, “There are many challenges ahead. We have a big population that is open for employment but we need skilled people. Skill would enhance quality. We are now witnessing a knowledge revolution and we need to harness knowledge and human capital in a better way. This programme should help in better leveraging of India’s demographic dividend.”
He further stated that they have been getting many complaints about the labour class in the textile industry not being properly treated.
“We had visited a few industries and found that mistreatment was common in these places. To address the same I have called for a meeting with all the heads of various industries on Friday,” he added.