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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Social workers, architects, students, historians, common people come together, protest "politics" of renaming Ahmedabad

By Nandini Oza*
No sooner did the BJP leaders of Gujarat announce the intention of changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati just before Diwali, on November 7, 2018, many people’s mood changed from festivity to heated debate and furor across the state. For many of us, an online petition, initiated by Bandish Soparkar, on change.org protesting name change came to immediate rescue.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”