Jobs of hundreds of employees at the National Textile Corporation’s Vijayamohonini mills as well as four other mills in the State are at stake as raw materials are yet to be supplied.
Though the mills were re-opened on March 31 this year, after a year of remaining shuttered due to COVID-19, these were closed again on June 15. The management has now informed that the apprentice workers who enjoy the same benefits as permanent workers will no longer receive their salary from June.
Odd jobs for survival
Even when the mill reopened temporarily, the contract workers were not asked to return to work. Many of them, who have worked in the mills for decades, survive now doing odd jobs.
“The NTC has not taken any efforts to supply raw materials(cotton and polyester) to the mill continuously. The management informed all the workers on June 15 that they need not come to the mill and that they will get only half of the remuneration during the period, due to shortage of raw material. We have been receiving only a percentage of our salaries since the outbreak of the pandemic. Now, we haven’t received the salary of June at all,” says M.T. Antony, Secretary, Trivandrum Textile Workers' Union (CITU)
The 23 spinning mills of the NTC, under the Union Textile Ministry, remained closed over a year since March 2020, with no steps taken to make them functional even after the Centre gave nod for factories and industries to open in May. The Corporation has maintained that the mills will function once the large pile of unsold yarn stock is sold off. Post the lockdown last year, the salary was first cut by 25%, by 40% the next month and by 60% in May.