Garment Labour union celebrated Labours Day in Laggere on May 1st, Sunday with the participation of 1000 Garment workers in the rally and in the public meeting with all the 4 demands mentioned below.
- Central government should immediately withdraw the changes in the labour laws.
- Government should fix living wages to the workers.
- Harassment free environment should be created by the management.
- Workers arrested and charged under different section of crime in the protest against the changes in Pf act by central government should be released and all the charges on them should be cancelled immediately.
The Special Guest for the program was Smt. Uma Shree, Women and Childcare Welfare Minister. She addressed the gathering talking about the issue of large number of women workers in the garment industry and pointed out that the management takes advantage of their helplessness and inability for exploitation. She assured that the government will respond to garment workers problems and will discuss with the government regarding the garment workers charged under different sections and prisoned because of the protest against the changes in the PF made by the central government.
Shree. Ugrappa, Member of Legislative Council, The Hon. Chairman of the expert committee on preventing sexual violence against Women & Children, spoke about the expert committee and the report on Sexual violence against Women and Children that is to be submitted by the end of June 2016. He also gave the assurance that to include the issue of garment workers experiencing violence in the factory in the report to stipulate pressure on the government to form functionable committees within the factory. He also said that the Government will be with the workers for their issues and that he also will discuss about the wages with the Chief Minister.
Smt. Akkai Padmashali, from Ondede organization, Karnataka Rajyotsava Award winner, spoke about Dada Saheb Ambedkar who created the Constitution. She said that struggle is the only way to get our rights and for this struggle their organization Ondede will be there to support us (workers). She also insisted that the government should create a particular commission for garment workers.
Smt. Rukmini, President of Garment Labour Union spoke about the importance of union membership and workers has to organize to fight against their issues and to get their rights also.
Smt. Vasanthamma, Smt. Bhagya & Smt. Sudha workers leader were present on the stage. They shared their ideas on the issues faced by the workers in workplace and also the importance of the minimum wages to them to lead their life somewhat a little peacefully.
A memorandum with the following demands was given to Smt.Umashree and Shree. V.S.Ugrappa,
- All cases filed by the police against protesting workers are withdrawn with immediate effect and a high level enquiry is instituted into the powers that provoked violence.
- Immediately review the minimum wages and after holding consultation with all stakeholders to raise the legal minimum wage at least to the level of the living wage suggested by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance.
- To device a grievance mechanism designed especially for women garment workers taking into consideration the large number of women employed in the garment industry in Bangalore and its surroundings, which according to estimates is above 400,000. As part of the initiative, we would also demand that the Women’s Commission, in collaboration with the Labour Department and the Department of Women and Child Welfare to open grievance redress cells in sufficient numbers in factories and residential areas.