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Powerloom workers strike over hike in power tariff: Heavy losses as 1.75 lakh power looms shut

- September 19, 2022

Chennai, Sept 19( BPNS)

The job working power loom weaver strike against power tariff hike has entered the fourth day with an estimated Rs 35 crore loss pegged per day. The job working power looms are on strike demanding a roll back on the increased power tariffs.

The strike has affected Tiruppur and Coimbatore, two districts in Tamil Nadu where the maximum number of power looms are situated. According to industry sources, 1.75 lakh power looms in these two districts are shut due to the strike bringing in colossal losses to the industry.

When contacted, the president of the job working power loom unit weavers in Coimbatore and Tiruppur, C. Palaniswamy said, “ The strike has today entered the fourth day and this has led to a loss of Rs 35 crore per day. The production of 1 crore meter length of fabric has also been affected due to the strike.”

Two lakh workers are directly employed and another three lakh are indirectly employed in the power looms spread across Palladam and Somannur areas of the two districts where the maximum concentration of power looms are present.

The workers are in doldrums as almost all of these workers do not know any other profession. The workers had conducted a strike in January 2022 for hike in wages but were called off in March 2022. The increase in cotton and yarn prices since May has also put a break on the production of cloth from power looms. The present strike will also directly affect the workers as shutting down the power looms means no jobs and hence no money.

Shanmuganathan. T, a power loom weaver from Palladam while speaking to BPNS said,” I am not sure when the strike will come to an end. We had strikes for wage hikes in January 2022 and continued for two months before it was called off in March. The power looms were closed due to increase in prices of cotton and yarn and with the power tariff hike, there is again a shutdown. All these are directly affecting the workers and we don’t know what to do else as we have been trained for this only.”

He said that the new power tariff hike will put a higher burden of Rs 8000 – 9000 on each power loom unit per month which is a major increase as far as power loom weavers are concerned.

The power loom weavers also demand that the increase in fixed charges above 750 units of power for a unit was also creating a burden on them.