Garment workers stage protest

Members of Garments and Textile Workers Union staging a protestin Bangalore on Sunday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar  

Several employees of garment factories in Bangalore staged a protest on Sunday seeking safety in their workplace and also to condole the death of garment workers after a factory building collapsed in Bangladesh recently.

A majority of garment workers are women and they face exploitation such as low wage, poor healthcare and long working hours, Leela, a factory worker participating in the protest, said. “I work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but most often I am given extra work. I have to stitch 80 pieces in one hour. I get around Rs. 5,700 a month,” she said and hoped that the tragic incident in Bangladesh does not repeat here.

“Good working environment is our right; we need not beg for it from anyone. We are going to fight against injustice and no matter what happens we will all stay together,” the workers said during their protest in front of the Town Hall.

“This protest is to seek the safety of garment workers. As we are also garment workers, we offer condolences to the workers who died in Bangladesh. We also want our management to look into worker safety,” said Prathibha, vice-president of Garment and Textile Workers Union (GATWU).

“The next step will be to file a memorandum before the government and seek a meeting with the Labour Commissioner. The workers labour all day long and big brands make a profits. The exploitation of garment factory workers should end,” said Jayaram K.R., a legal advisor, attached to GATWU.