Trade union representatives from Coimbatore have met Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani and sought her intervention to finalise wages for workers of National Textile Corporation (NTC) mills in Tamil Nadu. About 1,400 confirmed workers are employed at the seven NTC mills in the State. The four-year wage agreement for these workers expired on May 31 this year.
A press release from T.S. Rajamani, co-ordinator of HMS, AITUC, MLF, BMS, and Dr. Ambedkar Union for NTC workers, said the unions had sent their wage hike demand to the Southern Region office of NTC seeking 50 % increase in basic wages and making permanent those workers who have worked for 480 days. They also sought Rs. 421 a day for casual workers. Since the management neither invited them for proper talks nor arrived at a solution, demand meetings were held and workers wore demand cards to the mills. On August 7, a group of trade union leaders met the Union Minister and sought her intervention. The Minister assured them that necessary steps would be taken. It is said that a meeting would be held on August 16 here in this regard.
When asked about the demands, an official of NTC here said, “Discussions are on. We are having talks.”
M. Arumugam of AITUC contended that the unions had to meet the Minister as the talks were not progressing. “In Kerala, the revised wages have been finalised. In Tamil Nadu, the talks should be held. We also want the management to call all the unions for talks as there is a case going on about the recognised unions for NTC workers. We (the unions) have sent our demands individually and jointly to the NTC management. The Minister said she will take action,” he said.