They demand higher rates for the fabric they produce

Power loom weavers in Vijayamangalam block of Erode district went on a week-long strike on Wednesday demanding higher rates for the fabric produced by them.

More than 1,000 power loom units in Kaliyamputhur and a number of other villages in the block, which were producing Kerala saris, dhotis and towels, stopped their operations.

Weavers said the cost of production had gone up following the steep rise in the prices of cotton yarn and the ongoing power crisis.

Generators

A majority of the units now depend on the generators to operate the looms as the district has been witnessing power outage for more than 10 to 12 hours a day.

“We have to operate the looms continuously in order to produce quality fabric. So many of us use generators to operate the looms and we spend a huge amount towards buying fuel. We will suffer heavy lose if we solely depend on the power from the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation,” K.R. Chinnasamy, owner of a weaving unit in Kalliyamputhur, said.

The cost of labour also increased significantly in the recent past.

We were forced to pay higher wages as there was a serious shortage of labour, they said.

Weavers wanted the buyers to increase the rates for the cloths by at least 13 per cent. Many units would be forced to shutdown if the rates were not increased. More than 15,000 workers who depended on these units for their income would be rendered jobless, they said.

Weavers further said that they would intensify their protest if their demand was not met.