Fresh moves to revive Parvathy Mills in Kollam

Fresh hopes FOR WORKERS:N. Peethambara Kurup, MP, handing over a memorandum to Union Minister of State for Textiles Panabaka Lakshmi in Kollam on Friday. —Photo: C. Suresh Kumar  

Measures to revive the National Textile Corporation (NTC)-owned Parvathy Mills in Kollam city got a fresh boost with Union Minister of State for Textiles Panabaka Lakshmi visiting the company on Friday.

After interacting with trade union leaders attached to the company, Ms. Lakshmi said the Union government was prepared to revive Parvathy Mills. “Even funds are not a hurdle to the revival of the company,” she said. At the same time a litigation pending in the High Court pertaining to the modernisation of the company was hampering the programme of the government to revive the company. Once the litigation was over, the company would be revived, she said.

The Union government was committed to reviving all the textile mills managed by the NTC. Measures were also being taken to ensure job security to the workers of these mills. The government would take all possible steps to develop the textile sector of the country, she said.

In fact, the government was willing to spend any amount for the revival of Parvathy Mills. A technical feasibility study would be undertaken for the purpose. The NTC had prepared a standard model for the revival of the mills under its management. She said that steps would be taken to disburse the salary of Parvathy Mills workers promptly every month and the pending salary of the month of May 2012 would be given in a week’s time. She said she was visiting the company at the invitation of N. Peethambara Kurup, MP. Leaders of various trade unions submitted memoranda to the Minister for the early revival of the company.

Wage revision

President of the UTUC-affiliated Quilon District Textile Workers Union N.K. Premachandran brought to the attention of the Minister that the wage revision of other NTC mills should be made applicable to the workers of Parvathy Mills too. He said that the workers were still given wages based on a revision that came into effect 15 years ago.

Ms. Lakshmi said that since there was no production at Parvathy Mills, the issue of wage revision would have to be taken by the Union Cabinet. She said she would bring the issue to the attention of the Cabinet. Casual workers of Parvathy Mills were being paid a wages of only Rs.135 a day.

There were 17 casual workers, Mr. Premachandran said.

President of the CITU-affiliated Parvathy Mills Workers Union N. Padmalochanan said the litigation issue coming in the way of the company’s revival was only a lame excuse given by the Union Minister.

He said the private company that went in litigation had no locus standi in the case because no contract was awarded to that company. The government was not following up the litigation in the desired manner, he alleged.

The Parvathy Mills was closed down on November 26, 2008, for facilitating its modernisation programme. But no modernisation programme had taken place and production had not resumed. Payment of salary too was irregular. The company has 97 permanent staff and six NTC staff apart from the 17 casual workers.