About half the number of workers employed at units in Somanur are from other districts
Cyclone Gaja, which destroyed properties and crops in several of the southern districts, has had an impact on weaving units in Tirupur and districts too.
These districts employ a large number of workers to operate the conventional powerlooms that do job work.
Most of the workers from the southern districts have either not returned to work after the cyclone or have gone back home.
The job working powerloom units in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts are functioning only to 30 % of the capacity, according to the unit owners.
About half the number of workers employed at the job working units in Somanur are from other districts. Usually they go home for Deepavali and return after a week. This year, with cyclone Gaja, workers from these districts have not returned to work yet.
“The units are facing labour shortage as just 50 % of the workers from other districts have returned,” says P. Kumarasamy, secretary of the Somanur Job Working Powerloom Unit Owners’ Association.
Just 30 % of the installed capacity of job working powerloom units are functioning, he said.
It might take another two weeks for normal production to resume.
According to Velusamy, president of the Palladam Powerloom Job Workers’ Association, workers from the northern States are usually employed to operate the larger powerlooms and those from other districts of Tamil Nadu are mostly employed as contract workers at the conventional powerloom units.
Some workers from the southern States who returned to work after Deepavali have also gone back now to assess damage to their houses and to see their families. This has affected production to a large extent, he said.