M. Soundariya Preetha

Coimbatore: Finding the required manpower to work in textile units is becoming increasingly difficult, especially in this part of the State. As a result, this has led to employing workers from other districts, and of late, from other States too, such as Bihar, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

The regional office of the Textile Commissioner here conducted a meeting on Tuesday with the textile associations to evolve a mechanism to train workers in Bihar or Orissa, and streamline their employment in the textile units here.

“People do not get employment there and we need workers here. We can create a win-win situation through such a mechanism,” said D. Bandyopadhyay, deputy director in-charge of the regional office.

Mr. Bandyopadhyay said Kannampalayam, a village near Coimbatore, had hundreds of families from these States working in the nearby textile mills.

Some Bengalis worked in a processing unit in this region. “This is a very recent development,” he added. Already over 25,000 people were working in the textile sector in this region.

The units in Tamil Nadu immediately needed about a lakh people, he said. While a portion would come from the State itself, some could come from the other States. A meeting would be held with the officials of the labour department here to elicit suggestions from the textile associations. Based on these a module would be formulated in 15 or 20 days.

The office of the Textile Commissioner would also organise talks with the respective State Governments before finalising the programme.

The proposal was to have the workers screened by the State Governments first. They would then be trained in the powerloom service centres, and the regional office of the Textile Commissioner here would coordinate with the associations to find placements.

Some of the issues to be discussed and incorporated in the module would be: training, wage, placement service, code of conduct, and Memorandum of Agreement.

The textile sector in Tamil Nadu required roughly two lakh employees every year.

While at least 50 per cent of this demand would be met internally, the rest should come from other States.

This was prevalent in Ludhiana (where work at the woollen industries was seasonal), and also in the engineering units here.

Once the industry had adequate number of workers, other problems such as high attrition would be solved, said R. M. Subramaniam, a textile consultant, who participated in the meeting.