Power-loom owners call for indefinite shutdown

32,000 weavers to become jobless

April 16, 2015 05:20 pm | Updated 05:55 pm IST - Rabakavi (Bagalkot District)

With the tussle between the weavers and the powerloom owners continuing over increasing the wage, over 32,000 weavers of Rabakavi and Banahatti towns of the district are feared to go jobless with owners calling for shutdown of work for indefinite period from Friday.

About eight thousand looms of the twin-town may stop functioning with the owners not ready to meet the demand of the weavers citing increased cost of production and reducing market for the textile products as the reasons.

The matter of wage has cropped up again after the end of the two-year agreement between weavers and owners. It has been the system for years that owners increase the wage after every two years. Now, with the expiry of the agreement, the weavers are demanding an increase in the wage.

“For years, the owners have been increasing the wage by 30 to 50 per cent, but this time, the owners say they cannot increase the wage by more than five per cent. How can we accept this offer, especially when the cost of living has increased”, said, Mallikarjun Jumanal, leader of the weavers. He said that the weavers are demanding a 30 per cent increase wage.

He said that at present, a weaver earns about Rs. 150 and 300/per day based on his/her experience which is not enough for survival.

When contacted, Shankar Jaligidad, president of the Powerloom Onwers’ Association claimed that when the business was lucrative the weavers have been given hike up to 50 per cent but due to shrink in the market, profit too is shrinking and owners are not in a position to increase the wage substantially.

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