ANDHRA PRADESH

Powerloom strike paralyses production

A file picture of a powerloom.  

The indefinite strike by the powerloom owners and weavers in Sircilla in protest against the power bill fuel surcharge adjustment (FSA) for the powerloom sector, entered second day on Tuesday.

The production at powerlooms units has come to a grinding halt with the closure of all the 34,000 polyster and cotton looms in Sircilla textile town.

Around 15,000 weavers working on the powerlooms and other allied sectors of powerlooms such as sizing, warping, dyeing, have also been denied of employment following the closure of looms.

The CITU trade union, which called for indefinite strike, earlier staged a dharna in Karimnagar in protest against the FSA.

“We were forced to announce indefinite strike following the failure of the State Government to exempt the powerloom sector from the FSA charges”, said CITU district secretary G. Mukund Reddy.

Talking to The Hindu on Tuesday, Mr. Mukund Reddy clarified that the powerloom weavers were not owners as they were also workers and do the job work provided by the agents, who supply raw material for producing the cloth on the looms. He said following the non-payment of FSA charges, the electricity authorities have been disconnecting the electricity supply thus denying employment to the weavers.

“Following our dharna in the first week of February, the district administration had assured to resolve the crisis and exempt the powerloom weavers from the FSA, but in vain. Now we have decided to intensify our struggle till the FSA is removed for Sircilla powerlooms totally”, he maintained.

Opposition to strike

On the other hand, other trade unions have opposed the strike stating that the powerloom weavers would be denied of employment and wages. One trade union, on condition of anonymity, says that “If we work, then only we get weekly wages of Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,200 to purchase our weekly groceries. But due to the strike, we are only losing the wages”. He also said that the strike would only benefit the rich powerloom owners, who have huge stocks and jack up the prices and make fast buck in the market.

“The condition of weavers would be miserable as they would be forced to make huge debts at high interests”, he added.



There are over 34,000 polyster and cotton looms in Sircilla town

Around 15,000 weavers work in these looms and other allied sectors in the town