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Gujarat govt steps in to solve textile mill workers’ strike

More than three weeks after hundreds of textile mill workers in Gujarat resorted to strikes demanding a hike in their wages,the state government on Tuesday stepped in to look into their demands.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
June 27, 2012 3:26:47 am

More than three weeks after hundreds of textile mill workers in Gujarat resorted to strikes demanding a hike in their wages,the state government on Tuesday stepped in to look into their demands.

The workers took to the streets on June 4 demanding a 40 per cent hike in their wages. The mills affected so far due to the protests include Arvind Ltd,Ankur,a division of Arvind,Ashima and Asarwa Mills.

“Leaders of the Textile Labour Association (TLA) were authorised to hold dialogues with the Ahmedabad Textile Mills Association (ATMA) but unless they get the representative board’s approval they won’t be able to do so,” said Deputy Labour Commissioner M B Jadeja,adding that out of the eight textile mills in Ahmedabad,workers from at least four mills went on strike.

“After the approval from the executive committee,we are in the process of seeking approval for a representative board to negotiate on behalf of workers with the ATMA,” TLA General Secretary Amar Barot said.

“Once the board authorises us then we shall be in a position to initiate dialogue with the association,” he said.

A few months ago,the TLA,which is a representative union of textile workers,had filed a case in the industrial court against the ATMA, which represented the workers from several textile mills including Arvind.

On June 4,around 200 workers at Arvind’s Naroda plant stopped working,affecting the production. The plant employs 3,400 workers and primarily produces denim fabric. The plant has a production capacity of 84 million metres out of the 108 million metres of denim produced by the company annually.

Arvind Mills had terminated the services of a few workers and the resultant vacancies were filled up by fresh recruits. Additionally,some of the machines are being moved to another location,the company said in a statement.

About half of the 1,100 workers of Ankur Textiles joined the “illegal strike”. A further 300 workers of Ashima Textiles abstained from work joining their striking workers,severely affecting production,according to a regulatory filing.

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