About 15,000 units in the two districts, having two lakh powerlooms, are on strike since February 21 demanding revision of wages.

Owners of powerloom units in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts that do job-work for master weavers called off the protests they had planned for Saturday as the officials of the Labour Department called them for talks for the wage issue.

The talks will continue on Monday.

About 15,000 units in the two districts, having two lakh powerlooms, are on strike since February 21 demanding revision of wages. Though the Collectors of the two districts and the officials of the Labour Department had held several rounds of talks, an agreement was not reached on the issue. Hence, the unit owners planned a human chain from Karanampettai to Karumathampatti and protests at Palladam.

However, these were called off as they were called for talks by the Labour Department officials.

P. Kumarasamy, secretary of Coimbatore District Job-Working Powerloom Unit Owners’ Association, told The Hindu that the talks will be held on Monday. “We want the representatives of textile product manufacturers at Somanur, Palladam, Tirupur and Avanashi to participate in the talks.

One of the associations could not participate in the talks on Saturday and hence, the officials said it will be held on Monday,” he said.

The job-working unit owners have planned to go on indefinite fast from Monday.

According to a press release from district secretary of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Pongalur N. Palanisamy, production loss because of the strike is nearly Rs. 1200 crore.

Related economic activities such as transportation, hotels, and smaller units are all hit by the strike. He claimed that when the units had gone on strike earlier when the DMK was in power, talks were held on a war-footing under his guidance and a reasonable wage hike was ensured.

The Government should intervene and find a solution at the earliest.

Otherwise, as the district secretary of the DMK, he would talk to the master weavers and the DMK would also organise protests.

President of Kongunadu Jananayaka Katchi G.K. Nagaraj has said in a press release that the strike has affected 12 lakh workers in the two districts. In 2011, the District Collector held talks with the master weavers and job-working powerloom unit owners and an agreement was reached for 41 per cent increase in wages. The Chief Minister should intervene and ensure an agreement is reached at the earliest now.

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