Hundreds of weaving and knitting units in Karur commenced a two-day strike to protest the steep hike in yarn prices that they see cripples the trade. The Karur textile industry is severely affected by the price hike in coarser varieties of cotton yarn.

The Karur District Weaving and Knitting Factory Owners' Association gave the call for the two-day shutdown prompted by the spiralling prices. “Most of weaving and knitting units use coarse varieties of cotton yarn such as 6s, 10s, 2/20s, 2/30s and 2/40s. Though the price of yarn varieties has been steadily climbing over the past two years, it was only after Pongal that some varieties saw a jump of 10 to 40 per cent depending on the movement,'' said R. Natarajan, secretary of the association.

“There are around 225 members in the association and another 125 non-members in the trade in Karur. Over 15,000 persons are directly involved in the trade though weaving and knitting activities are mostly carried on in Erode, Namakkal, Salem, Tirupur and Theni districts. Not just the weavers and workers but their families have been plagued in view of the steep hike as jobs become scarce because of dwindling orders,'' avers association president P. Nallusamy.

After Pongal the price of 10s count yarn went up by 40 per cent, 6s by 30 per cent, 2/20s by 15 per cent. Similar price rise was witnessed in 2/30s and 2/40s, which are all used by the Karur textile traders.

Mr. Nallusamy and Mr. Natarajan say there is acute shortage of yarn with the dealers and attribute it to trickle in arrivals from the mills. The association members wondered about the high price during the cotton arrival season.