Workers in Tirupur's textile industry have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, urging them to get the Employees' State Insurance Corporation to pay them wages, as their employers have shut down units in compliance with the nationwide lockdown.
In the letter, which has also been sent to the Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar, and ESIC Director General Anuradha Prasad, the workers said they are covered under the ESIC Scheme and expect the Corporation to come forward to help them tide over the crisis.
The Covid-19 outbreak forced a lockdown of all industries, including textiles, which has been totally crippled. Many employees fear loss of wages during non-working days.
"I strongly feel that it is the moral obligation of the Insurance Company to support me and pay me at least the minimum wages and save me and my family during this challenging period," said letter from one of the employees. It may be recalled that the Centre had asked all industries to shut down in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19, while simultaneously asking them to pay full salaries and wages to employees. Certain sections of industry have protested against this call.
The Tirupur textile industry, which exports around Rs 26,000 crore worth of garments in a year, has some 500,000 workers employed directly and indirectly. Of these about 150,000 are migrant labourers, according to industry sources.