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B'lore under fire at ILO Meet for alarming labor practices

Jul '07
Bangalore, the powerhouse of India's booming garment industry, came under fire at the International Labour Conference in Geneva this month because of its appalling labour practices.

Addressing the Conference of the ILO, Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the Brussels-based International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF) said that Bangalore's garment industry is booming for some but not for the majority of workers who dare not complain about the appalling conditions they face.

Said Mr. Kearney: “Ask Ratnamma. Heavily pregnant she continued working at Shalini Creation, part of Texport Overseas, till the last days of March fearful of losing her monthly attendance bonus. Already in labour she had to beg factory managers to let her go home."

Passed from one to the other and after much reluctance and delay she was finally signed out but no one was allowed to go with her. A few meters from the factory gate she gave birth in the street, cut the umbilical cord herself and struggled home only to find her baby was dead.

“Ask Ammu - if you could!. A few weeks earlier, tired and ill she too begged to leave Triangle Apparels, a subsidiary of Gokaldas Exports Limited. Instead she was shouted at, abused and told to resume working. At her wits end she went to the toilets and hanged herself."

“One local employer, Fibers and Fabrics Industries, under attack at home and abroad for alleged abusive labour practices has succeeded in having court imposed gagging orders applied to their critics including the trade union representing their workers."

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