Garment brands promise better childcare services for employees.First, they will create database of women workers who need such facilities

Here is some good news for garment workers who have young children, but no access to decent crèche facilities.

In a meeting convened recently by the Karnataka State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, representatives of international garment brands agreed to ensure compliance with statutory welfare services for workers, which includes providing crèche services. To start with, they will create a database of women workers and identify their need for such services for children between 0 and 6 years of age.

The meeting was also attended by officials of the Department of Factories and Boilers, who promised to jointly work with apparel brands to ensure better childcare services.

Deadline

The commission plans to write to all garment manufacturers in the State and urge them to set up crèche services based on need (either factory-based or community-based) in accordance with suggested minimum standards. Garment factories would be given three months’ time to comply with the commission’s suggestions, said Commission chairperson Nina P. Nayak.

The meeting was held as a follow-up to the public hearing held on August 1, in which garment workers emphasised the need for childcare facilities. The commission then visited a few garment factories and found that the situation on the ground was an actual portrayal of what the workers told it.

There was limited compliance with the provisions mandated in the Factories Act, 1948, and rules of the Government of Karnataka of 1969 and 1982 in respect of crèche services for children in the factories visited, said Ms. Nayak.

The commission then invited garment brands for a discussion on the matter on August 28. Srinivasaiah, Director, Department of Factories and Boilers, attended the meeting. Brands that participated included Wal Mart, Levi Strauss and Co., H&M, TESCO International, Mothercare and Navigator. Commission members Niranjan Aradhaya and Madhu were present.