Weavers for Govt Help on Wage row
The Mangalakizhar Powerloom Weavers Welfare Society has appealed to the State government to intervene in the ongoing tussle between the powerloom weavers and the small textile manufacturers, that had paralysed the production of lungis in the Guruvarajapettai area near Arakkonam.
P Perumal, president of the society, who is also the panchayat president of the Sembedu village, said that around 1,000 families of weavers in and around Guruvarajapettai and living in over 19 villages were traditional lungi weavers by using powerlooms in their houses for many years.
They received the yarn and the thread from the 70-plus small textile manufacturers in and around Guruvarajapettai, who sold the lungis produced from here to merchants in Chennai. The lungis from this area were mostly exported, he added. Since most of the powerloom weavers had borrowed money from the yarn and thread suppliers (small textile manufactures) for setting up the powerloom machinery, the interest was being deducted from their wages. For one metre of lungi, the weavers used to get `18 to `20 so far, but now the buyers have reduced the wages by 10 to 15 per cent in addition to insisting on repayment of the loan arrears.
Perumal said two months ago, talks were held among the representatives of small textile manufacturers, powerloom weavers and the revenue officials at the taluk office at Arakkonam, when an assurance was given that the wages would not be cut. But in the past week or so, the weavers have not received the yarn and thread, paralysing the weaving activity. Unless the State government intervened, the livelihood of the weavers would be affected, he added.