What it means to employees

November 01, 2011 11:00 am | Updated November 17, 2021 11:16 am IST - CHENNAI:

Whether workers of the stores that were closed on Monday will be paid theirsalaries for October soon remains a question. A group of workers onRanganathan Street on Monday. Photo: S.S. Kumar

Whether workers of the stores that were closed on Monday will be paid theirsalaries for October soon remains a question. A group of workers onRanganathan Street on Monday. Photo: S.S. Kumar

Stores on Ranganathan Street that were not locked and sealed on Monday were forced by a section of the affected traders to pull down their shutters. Men who ferry customers to tailoring units, small-time vendors and those working in restaurants – most of them had to return home doing either very little or no business. Raja, running an ice-cream stall on Ranganathan Street, thought the slightly sunny day would mean good business, especially on a Monday when the weekend rush usually continues. However, after he sold six cones of ice-cream he was asked to stop. “I work from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Only then do I get my daily earnings of a few hundreds,” he said.

Some tailors in the lanes off Ranganathan Street had stopped working in the morning, hoping to resume work in the afternoon. However, the power cut ruined their plan. K. Vimala, a tailor who makes about Rs.400 a day, said the area had an hour-long power cut everyday. “Today, as part of monthly maintenance load-shedding, power supply has been suspended from 11.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All our sewing machines are electrical and very few shoppers would visit if they know other shops on the road are shut,” she said.

What was worrying many like her, as also the several hundred employees of the stores that were sealed, was the start of a new month, when house rent, electricity bill and other miscellaneous expenses have to be met.S. Vaseegaran, accounting clerk in one of the stores, said: “I just realised that the month ends today. How will we be paid our salaries? What do we tell our families?” he asked.

A youngster, who was watching the proceedings from early morning, said: “We send money to our families in Tirunelveli. I hope our employers give us some money for the month,” said the 19-year-old.

But some of the employers have no intention doing so until their shops are back in operation.

When contacted, S.R. Srinivasan of Rathna Stores, also the son of Ranganathan Street Merchants Association president P.S. Rathnam Nadar, said: “Stores like ours will have to pay several thousand workers. But our bank operations have been affected after our stores were sealed. We can pay only after our shops are reopened,” he said.

Shoppers were disappointed too, with looks of dismay evident on the faces of those who descended from the railway pedestrian bridge only to see shops on Ranganathan Street with shutters down. The Saravanans, who came with two children and baggage to go straight to the railway station after shopping, looked disappointed as they lugged their way searching for shops on Usman Road. Others such as G. Srilatha from Chromepet decided to return immediately after walking half the stretch along Ranganathan Street.

Many shops forced to remain closed had to forego the day's earnings. The employees of an eatery who had prepared rice for 350 customers were also disappointed. Others, however, were thankful that the action was taken after Deepavali.

Top News Today

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.