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Textile mill owners in Maharashtra agree to 48% wage hike
06
Mar '13
Textile mill owners in Ichalkaranji, a town in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district, have agreed to raise the wages of workers by 48.71 percent, bringing an end to 37-day long strike by powerloom and textile workers in the town, The Hindu reported.
 
Seeking a wage hike and better facilities at workplace, about 30,000 powerloom workers and 15,000 textile workers in the town launched a strike on January 21, paralyzing the production across all textile and powerloom units in the town.
 
Even after five meetings with the Labour Minister and a protest march to Mumbai, where representatives of worker’s unions appraised the state Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan of their problems and demands, the issues of the workers could not be resolved.
 
Finally, after a long discussion, the mill owners came out with a proposal for increasing wages by 48.71 percent to 87 paise per metre, and an option of working in shifts of eight hours, which was accepted by the workers.
 
It is for the first time in past 28 years that textile workers have been offered an option of working in shifts of eight hours, as till now these employees had to work for 12 hours each day.
 
A worker who earned Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 5,000 per month while working for 12 hours per day before strike, would now earn about Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 9,000 per month, while working for 12 hours per day or Rs. 5,500 to Rs. 6,000 per month for an eight-hour per day shift.
 
Housing one of the country’s oldest textile industries and popularly known as the Manchester of Maharashtra, the town of Ichalkaranji is home to about 5,000 textile factories and is also one of the largest centres of small scale industries in India. 
 
Nearly 120,000 powerlooms operational in the town produce around 10 million metres of fabric each day, and has a turnover of Rs. 500 million per day. Working on powerloom for 12 hour per day, each worker produces around 40-43 metres of fabric.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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