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Embroidery clusters resort to strike to protest high yarn prices
Dec '10
The embroidery cluster of Ahmedabad is now in a fix over the soaring cotton yarn prices, thereby causing around 6,000 embroidery firms to protest against the same. These units are observing a four-day long strike since today, with a demand that the garment units which outsource embroidery work to them should raise the prices for the work by 30 percent.

The rising prices of the cotton and synthetic yarns, has caused the embroidery industry in the city to suffer huge losses. There has been a 14 to 20 percent increment in the remuneration of the workers, but then there has been no increase in the rates of embroidery work.

Considering all these factors, the embroidery owners are now not finding it practicable to keep their units operational for 24 hours and are considering functioning only for 12 hours, once they resume work after the strike.

The Surat embroidery cluster too had observed a two-day strike just a few days back over the same issue. Surat each year produces 50 million metres of man-made fabric, almost half of which is embroidered. Around 4,000 embroidery firms from Surat, registering a daily turnover of Rs 50 million, joined the strike to protest against the soaring yarn prices which is causing them to lose their viability.

The embroidery industry in particular and the textile value chain on the whole, over past some time are experiencing severe scarcity of labour, as a lot of migrant workers persuaded by the government schemes such as NAREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) are returning back to their home-towns. The embroidery unit owners in Surat actually gave a call for a five-day strike, but owing to the workers' pressure, were forced to reopen on the third day itself.

Over the last one year, there has been an 80 percent rise in the yarn prices. The cotton yarn which was priced at Rs 139 per kg in June 2009 rose to Rs 185 per kg in July 2010 and now costs around Rs 250 per kg (40 count). With such exponential rise in the cotton prices, the rates of polyester, viscose and blends too have increased more than double. This rise in prices of other materials is mainly because of the reason that the yarn manufacturers are reducing the cotton content in blends from 80 to 40 percent.

In consideration of the countrywide strike observed by the garment and weaving units during the month of November to protest against the soaring yarn prices, the government has imposed a ceiling on the exports of cotton yarn so as to ensure sufficient availability of yarn in the local market. As per the ban the country now can export only 722 lakh kg of cotton yarn within the set period of 45 days. Another intention underlying the imposition of such a ceiling is to curtail the mounting yarn prices, but since the issuance of the notification last month, there has been no reduction in the prices.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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