In this episode of Behind the Label, Saroja, General Secretary of the Garment Labour Union (GLU) speaks about the concerns that were discussed on May Day 2019.
“From the day that the Garment Industry came into being, the workers have been suffering – from sexual harassment, from daily workplace violence, and the compromising of the freedom of unions. Other problems include the abrupt closure of factories against all rules, the illegal cutting down of PF and ESI benefits, lodging of indiscriminate cases against workers, near-constant mental stress at work, and more. Close to 8 lakh families survive on the income from garment work, and other worker families subsist on the income from the sale of vegetables on the road and through small business. Workers are giving back so much to the Government but they themselves are not able to lead a decent life!”
Saroja also mentions the ‘Manavai Patra’ which they submitted to a few relevant officials on May Day. This letter features information on the increment in wages paid to garment workers and also on the Sexual Harassment Act that needs to be implemented; the need to create special cells to receive grievance cases related to workers and the need to provide housing facilities to the workers; and the urgent need to eliminate all forms of violence towards women workers. “The red dresses we wore on May Day symbolise our fight for our rights.”
Listen in for more…