Skip to main content

Swacch Bharat? Urinals don't exist in 30% Surat textile units, where 92% workers aren't paid minimum wages: Study

Powerloom units in Surat
Counterview Desk
A new study on the working conditions textile units of Surat in South Gujarat -- powerloom, processing, embroidery, garment units, and composite mills -- has revealed that 82 per cent workers do not receive any payslip on receiving their salary, hence they have no written proof from the managements whether they receive the amount they are be legally entitled to get.
Carried out by the Vadodara-based People's Training and Research Centre (PTRC), which works on occupational health issues across Gujarat, the study has also found that in 92 per cent of cases "minimum wages are not paid". Said PTRC's Jagdish Patel, author the study, "Most workers did not know what should be their minimum wages. Hence, we had to ascertain how much they were paid to find out whether they earned the minimum wages they were entitled to."
Presented at a workshop in Ahmedabad, the study, involving 50 textile units, revealed that 72 per cent workers did not get any bonus, and 56 per cent workers were made to work on weekly holidays, though they were "not paid any extra wages for this." Significantly, most of the workers are migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
The study is based on direct interview with 50 textile workers and interaction with other stake holders -- managements, industry and workers' associations, as also academics studying their conditions. "About 36 per cent of workers were employed through contractors", the study said, adding, "While only 12 per cent of the workers enjoyed permanent status, 70 per cent were temporary."
Inside a unit
The study further said that if 82 per cent of the workers were not given any identity card, none of the workers working in the powerloom units had any of it. About 20 per cent workers knew about provident fund (PF), but just 10 per cent were made part of' it. Worse, Dearness Allowance was not linked with wages. And on an average 74 per cent had to work for 12 hours a day, but they were not paid any overtime after eight hours' work.
According to the study, while 64 per cent workers said that they received immediate treatment in case of a medical emergency, only 10 per cent were found to be taking advantage of the Government of India's Employees' Insurance Scheme (ESI) hospitals, in which all industrial workers are supposed to get free medical treatment. This is because most of the units are not registered with ESI. There are four ESI hospitals in Surat.
According to the study, while noise pollution is a major occupational hazard in all textile units, with 68 per cent workers complained about it, 50 per cent workers said they may catch an occupational disease, including those related with skin, noise and respiration. "While eight per cent workers said they had caught an occupational disease, 10 per cent added their colleagues were suffering from it", the study said.
The study further found that while 55 per cent workers said that they were not offered cold water during summer, 12 per cent said there was no facility of drinking water in their units. Also, 10 per cent workers said there were no toilets in their units, 30 per cent said, there was no urinals. "Worse, while 39 of the 50 units, we were told, employed female workers, 23 units had separate toilets for them, while 11 units did not give any reply on this", Patel said.

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
What a shame!
Urvashi Devi said…
The textile mills should be responsible

TRENDING

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Bharat Ratna nominee ‘joined hands’ with British masters to 'crush' Quit India

By Shamsul Islam*
The Quit India Movement (QIM), also known as ‘August Kranti' (August Revolution), was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi's call to 'Do or Die' in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…