COIMBATORE: Spinning mills in Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode, and nearby districts began an indefinite strike from Sunday, demanding that cotton prices be regulated. Over 300 industries affiliated to the South Indian Spinners’ Association (SISPA) are part of the strike.
Over the past few months, cotton bale prices have skyrocketed, affecting the textile and spinning industries. Although the Union government removed the 11% import duty levied on cotton till September 30 this year, the prices are yet to decrease. Due to this, many spinning mills were unable to buy cotton and were forced to shut their factories.
SISPA president J Selvan said more than 300 spinning mills in Coimbatore, Tiruppur, and Erode are taking part in the strike, and a few more will join once their stocks get depleted in a few days.
“There are no accurate statistics of our country’s cotton production from the government or private sector. At the beginning of the cotton season, large-scale cotton traders and multinational companies (MNCs) purchased and stockpiled huge quantities of cotton. Some of it was exported. Due to the steep rise in cotton prices, our members are not able to purchase cotton. Our members’ working capital is eroding every day,” he said.
“As many as 450 member-industries are part of our association in the western region. We can’t keep running our industries at a huge loss. The cotton prices have shot up to unprecedented levels. We will resume production only after cotton becomes affordable. The strike will continue till the situation changes,” he added.