Workers hardest hit by Western TN spinning strike – The New Indian Express

Express press service

COIMBATORE/TIRUPPUR: The Union government has removed the 11% customs duty on cotton imports, but prices have not come down. Electric looms and spinning mills in western Tamil Nadu have suspended operations indefinitely, protesting rising cotton prices and condemning the Union government for failing to intervene on the issue.

The strike put thousands of workers in distress. R Muthusamy, secretary of the CITU-affiliated Powerloom (Tiruppur) weaving unit workers’ association, said the strike threatens workers’ livelihoods as looms are closed due to non-supply in warp thread by the spinning mills. “The workers work more than 10 hours a day but are only paid 500 to 600 rupees.

We are worried about the future of the workers in the weaving units. Most editors and bookbinders receive a daily salary of Rs 600-700. The strike will hit them hard. In addition, experienced workers receive an advance for emergencies and other needs. So they can’t leave the industry,” he added.

Mr Rajagopal (45) from Avinashi, who has worked for two decades as an operator in a loom unit in Thekkalur, said: “I used to earn a salary of Rs 4,200 per week. We already lost a lot of working days a few months ago when the loom units were on strike demanding frequent wage review by the manufacturers. Currently, textile companies are affected by rising yarn prices and have closed their facilities.

Since they are offering contracts for mechanical and automatic loom units, we are stuck, due to lack of warp yarn supply. He added: “As it is the end of the month, the workers are feeling the pinch. If the strike continues into next week, we will lose our savings and may be forced to seek advance payment from weaving unit owners. If this is the case for experienced workers, freshmen will suffer more.

S Dinesh Kumar, a spinning worker in Somanur, said: “Already, the pandemic has taken a huge toll on our finances. Now, because of the strike, people who came from rural areas are thinking of quitting and returning to their hometowns to continue agricultural work. However, a few spinning mills offered advance payments and maintenance work to protect the livelihoods of their workers.

Speaking to TNIE, South India Spinners Association (SISPA) President J Selva said, “Although the factories are not functioning, the owners have given laborers jobs such as maintenance and other jobs. Some even receive an advance to manage until the situation returns to normal.

Virudhunagar weavers begin week-long strike
Virudhunagar: Condemning rising yarn prices, weavers associated with the Association of Surgical Dressing Manufacturers began their week-long strike on Wednesday. Association president N Senthilraj told TNIE that about 5,000 power looms in this district will remain closed until May 31. “About 10,000 workers will lose their jobs because of this strike. Besides our workers, this strike will also affect the medical industry. State and central governments should regulate rising prices,” he urged.