‘Violation of labour laws rampant at garment units in Madurai’

A majority of workers are not even aware of their rights: union leader

Updated - March 26, 2018 06:28 pm IST

Published - March 26, 2018 09:57 am IST - MADURAI

 An interactive session under way for garment workers and other stakeholders in Madurai on Sunday.

An interactive session under way for garment workers and other stakeholders in Madurai on Sunday.

Non-payment of minimum wages, violation of other labour-related regulations, and harassment were rampant in majority of the garment units in and around Madurai, which primarily employed women workers, P. Muthu Raja, president, Textile Workers Union alleged.

Speaking at an interaction meeting of garments manufacturing unit workers with non-governmental organisations, trade unions and other stakeholders, he said that it was difficult to address these issues since most of the units maintain stringent vigil over the activities of their workers and prevent them from organising themselves.

“Majority of the workers in these units are not even aware of their rights, including the minimum salary they are eligible to receive,” he said.

Role models

Addressing the workers, who turned up for the event in minimum numbers, B. Thirumalai, senior journalist and writer, highlighted how eminent women like Muthulakshmi Reddy, Thillaiyadi Valliammai and K.P. Janaki Ammal, who played active role in public life, and urged the women workers take inspiration from those leaders.

Stressing the need to unite and organise to fight for their rights, he said that the women workers, apart from their employment-related issues, must also fight against the rampant alcoholism due to the presence of State-promoted TASMAC shops.

Sumangali scheme

Appealing to the workers to rise their voices against the injustice they faced, S. Selva Gomathi, managing trustee of Justice Shivaraj V. Patil Foundation, which organised the interaction meeting, said that the problems faced by women workers under the infamous ‘Sumangali’ scheme came to light only after many of them began to speak about it.

Bala Sundari, advocate and member of Madurai district Child Welfare Committee, said that legal remedies were available for the issues and only when workers become emboldened about their rights, the garment units will begin to treat them fairly.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.