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Bhiwandi powerlooms go on strike
21
Aug '15
India's powerloom sector is in the throes of a major crisis. Nearly three-fourths of the 9 lakh powerloom units in Maharashtra's Bhiwandi have been on strike since August 17, leaving lakhs of workers jobless and daily losses of about Rs 150 crore, according to estimates of textile industry associations.

According to media reports, while about 2.5 lakh powerlooms are running only 2-3 days in a week since last one month, the weavers in Bhiwandi have decided to stop work from August 17 till August 31.

If this isn't bad enough, a production cutback is likely also at the spinning mills in the region that have been hit by excess capacity and a fall in demand for yarn from export markets, especially China, the Northern India Textile Mills Association has announced.

The striking powerlooms in Bhiwandi are demanding control on yarn prices and permission to export cloth. In Malegaon, mills started operating at 50 per cent of their capacity in May after the Rajasthan government banned more than 700 textile processing units and forced them to stop work for violating environmental norms.

Powerloom owners say operations are no longer profitable because of rising power tariff, labour charges and falling prices. Approximately 9 lakh people are dependent on Bhiwandi's powerlooms and related businesses. The strike aims at ensuring less cloth is sent to the market in order to boost prices.

According to industry sources, the closure of powerloom units in Bhiwandi and Malegaon is bound to impact textile business in Surat and other part of the country. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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