They want minimum wages notified
Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday directed officials to set up a committee involving Labour Department officials, textile manufacturers, Central trade unions, and garment workers to study the long-pending issues plaguing garment workers, including notification of minimum wages.
At a meeting with representatives of Garment and Textile Workers’ Union and All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and Textile Manufacturers, the Chief Minister said the committee should come out with its report in a time-bound manner so that minimum wages of garment workers could be notified by this year-end.
Garment workers have been demanding that the new government implement the revision of minimum wages that the erstwhile Siddaramaiah-led government attempted by issuing a draft notification in February 2018, but withdrew it in March 2018. The industry employs around 4.5 lakh people in the State, mostly women, with nearly 3.5 lakh workers in Bengaluru alone. The Labour Department had issued the draft notification on February 22, 2018, proposing to double the minimum wages in the tailoring industry. But garment workers’ hopes were dashed when the department issued an order withdrawing the draft notification.
The department said the industry management had objected to the revision on the grounds that minimum wages in Karnataka were higher than that in other States and doubling it would have an adverse impact on an industry that is already facing tough international competition. “In today’s meeting, the Chief Minister said it is not possible to restore the withdrawn notification, and assured us that based on the new committee’s report, minimum wages will be notified by this year-end,” said a member of AITUC who attended the meeting.