‘Many women garment workers oppose increased work hours’

A survey of women garment workers in south Karnataka has not only revealed how most of them received no assistance from either their employers or the State government, but also their unwillingness to work extra hours. The State government recently allowed the workday to be extended from eight to 10 hours.

The survey jointly conducted by Garments Mahila Karmikara Munnade and Alternative Law Forum (ALF), interviewed 82 women in the garment industry and found that a majority of them — 65% — declined to work extra hours. “Given that an overwhelming segment of the workforce in garment industries are women, extending the workday or workweek will likely result in thousands of women dropping out of the workforce or being asked to leave for not being able to work extended hours. The Karnataka government’s notification betrays a complete lack of empathy and concern for women workers and their right to livelihood,” ALF said in a statement on the survey.

The survey also revealed the pathetic living condition of garment workers during the lockdown. While 63% of the interviewees reported not being paid any salary for April, 17% said they got only half their wages. What is worse, 96% said they received no assistance from their employers. Nearly half of the women interviewed (45%) said they had to borrow money to tide over the lockdown.

The survey recommends that the government set up helplines to resolve issues of garment workers, withdraw the notification on extending work hours and also provide free transport services to garment factories.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 10:54:05 AM |

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