Bangalore to host the event from November 22 to 25

A people’s tribunal on ‘Living Wages for Garment Workers’, the first-ever attempt in India to draw workers from all major apparel hubs from across the country, is being held in Bangalore from November 22 to 25.

An alliance of 16 trade unions and non-governmental organisations, in collaboration with the Asia Floor Wage (AFW), is holding the tribunal that will have workers from places such as Bangalore, Chennai, Tirupur, Gurgaon and Delhi presenting testimonies on their living and working conditions.

The jury will comprise several eminent national and international representatives, including Coen Kompier, International Labour Organisation’s India representative; Utsa Patnaik, economist and professor from Jawaharlal Nehru University; Mary E. John, former director of the Centre for Women Development Studies; Gianni Tognioni, Secretary-General of the Permanent People’s Tribunal in Italy; and advocate Hemalatha Mahishi.

The tribunal being held in Bangalore is the third of its kind to be held in Asia, the first in Sri Lanka in 2011 and the second in Cambodia earlier this year. Bangalore has over 1,000 large, medium and small apparel units with an estimated 5 lakh workers of which nearly 85 per cent are women.

“The textile industry accounts for nearly 12 per cent share of the country’s total exports,” said K.R. Jayaram of the Garment and Textile Workers’ Union (GATWU). “Despite the economic importance of this industry, garment workers receive less than half of what is needed to support their families.”

Participants

A highlight of this event is that a couple of major garment brands have confirmed their participation. “Their representation is important because they are the ultimate profiteers and they should take some responsibility for the wages and working conditions of workers,” said Mr. Jayaram.

The testimonies at the event will focus on living wages and decent working conditions as a fundamental human right. There will also be presentations on laws related to the garment industry by labour rights experts and campaigners from India and other Asian countries. The jury will examine the testimonies and present the verdict on November 25.

The tribunal will be held at the Krishna Raja Parishan Mandir, Kannada Sahitya Parishad, Pampa Mahakavi Road, Chamaraj Pet, Banglore. For more information on the tribunal, emailgatwu@rediffmail.com.

Bangalore to host the event from November 22 to 25


  • Workers will present testimonies on their working conditions

  • Some major garment brands will participate


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