PUDUCHERRY: The All India Textile Workers Federation demanded that the Union government constitute a wage board to uplift the struggling workers of the industry.
Explaining the resolutions adopted at the federation’s meeting, which was held here on Thursday, AITUC Tamil Nadu unit secretary T M Moorthy said the textile industry and its workers were severely affected by the wrong policies of the government. He pointed out that that nearly 3.5 crore workers were directly employed in the textile sector, which was witnessing a low in the recent years.
Moorthy said only 20 to 30 per cent of the workers were permanent employees in the sector and the rest were employed on contract basis. They urged that the workers, who worked for 480 days continuously, be made permanent. Since the workers’ wages and other benefits were not protected, the workers were struggling to make a living, he added.
He demanded that `15,000 per month be paid to the newly employed trainees in the textile industries and the minimum pension should be fixed at `3,000 per month.
The federation demanded that the medical treatment under ESI scheme be extended to the worker and their spouses even after retirement. Now, the facility is withdrawn once the worker retires. Workers were left to fend for themselves after retirement, when the facility is most essential, he claimed.
He said the Tamil Nadu government should review the Sumangali Thittam, under which nearly 1.5 lakh young women were forced to work like slaves in the various textile units of the state.
Referring to the three textile mills in Puducherry, Moorthy said the administration should make use of the dye house of the Anglo-French Textile (AFT) mills and take steps to increase the revenue of the mill. He pointed out that several dyeing units in neighboring Tamil Nadu were asked to shut down for flouting the environment protection norms.
He charged that the administration of the mills was not recruiting people and were making use of those machines which were in running condition. Instead the mill management was allowing machines to rust by leaving them idle, he added.