The tussle between power loom workers and owners has escalated as the workers closed factories and took out several processions on Friday, to press their demand for a 13% wage increase.
The demonstrators were carrying banners inscribed with their demand for increase in wages by 13%, implementation of labour laws in letter and spirit, fringe benefits as envisaged under the Factory Act, social security, old age benefit scheme and action against those power loom factory owners who have resorted to what they called illegal ‘lockout’.
They also held a protest rally which was addressed by the leaders of the power loom workers’ union. They regretted that the owners of power loom factories, with the intervention of the district administration, signed an agreement for the increase of 13% in wages but now they have arbitrarily and illegally refused to implement the same.
The workers said that they will continue their protest till the acceptance of their demands.
On the other hand, the factory owners claimed that they are sustaining huge losses in the wake of abnormal duration of power outages, increase in electricity charges and other overheads. They claimed that they could not operate their units due to extraordinary losses and are left with no option but to close down their factories.
Meanwhile, during a survey of various power loom units, it was observed that more than 200 owners of factories have disappeared after locking their factories, rendering thousands of workers jobless.