Korai Mat Weavers Strike Agreement with Suppliers, Withdraw 20-day Strike
The indefinite strike call given by the Korai Mat weavers in the State has been called off and the workers have resumed work after the stand-off between the raw material suppliers and weavers over the price hike was amicably sorted out on Sunday.
S Suresh, secretary of the Agaramcheri Korai Weavers Association, who has been elected as the general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Korai Weavers Association, said that a meeting was held in Salem on Sunday, in which representatives of weavers, the korai merchants and korai farmers participated and amicably settled the issues.
The weavers of Vellore district and elsewhere in the State had abstained from work since March 1 demanding the intervention of the State government in order to bring down the price of the korai grass, the main raw material for the mat, which had gone up over 300 per cent in the past one year.
The korai grass, the main raw material for making the mats, has been being procured from the Cauvery delta districts of Tiruchy and Karur for many years. The korai grass used to cost around `600 per bundle of 28 kg until a year back.
However, the merchants who procured the grass from the farmers had recently hiked the price to `1500 and also reduced the weight of the bundles from 28 to 22 kg. This had increased the production cost of the mats and the selling price had to be increased from `50-plus to `100-plus, which had not been received well by the buyers. Because of this, an estimated `20 lakh worth of woven mats remained unsold in Vellore district alone. This had pushed the weavers into a difficult situation and hence they had to join the State-wide strike subsequently.
Suresh said that the talks on Sunday had resolved the issue and the merchants had agreed to supply 28 kg bundle grass at `1,100 and the price would be revised from June this year.
Following this, the strike had been withdrawn from Wednesday and the weavers had resumed work, Suresh added further.