A Garment Support Group, Bangalore, comprising representatives from garment industry and trade unions discussed various issues, including wages, training and attrition, confronting the sector for the healthy growth of the industry in the State.
K M Surayanarayana Rao, Bharat Masdoor Sangh (BMS), N M Muddappa of Karnataka Labour Federation, Christopher, CEO of Garment Workers Union, and employers of several garment units discussed various problems of the sector a workshop organised by the Prukruthi, a NGO.
Trade union leaders demanded the employers to follow various industrial acts and regulations while running their industry. A healthy relations between management and workers would only help the industry to grow, they said.
Pramod Johan, Executive Director, Prakruthi, said the garment industry has been facing problems such as low wages, high attrition, lack of training, lack of transparency in the ISO and certifications, and human relations. The attrition rate in the industry is 13 per cent in Bangalore, which is low compared to Tirupur and other states. Several industries pay Rs. 105 a day for a worker in Bangalore, he said.
Attrition rates could be reduced by paying higher wages, offering health insurance, bonus and other facilities and providing a healthy working environment in the industry, trade union leaders and Mr pramod said.
The textile industry occupies an important position in the industrial landscape of the Karnataka by way of its contribution to industrial production, employment generation and export earnings. It is next only to the agriculture sector in terms of employment generation. The textile sector contributes 0.50 per cent of the GDP of the state, approximately Rs. 1,00,000 crore in value.
Karnataka accounts for 20 per cent of the national garment production, valued at around Rs. 7,500 crore and 8% of the national exports.
Bangalore is also known as the “Garment Capital” of India, as the preferred destination for garment firms.
Garment exports from Karnataka in fact, occupy the 2nd position in the country in terms of value of exports from the State, next only to Electronics and Computer Software. The quantum of garment exports was Rs. 6773 crore in 2006-07. Although Karnataka enjoys a significant share (32%) of the domestic apparel market with over 1500 apparel units, there is further significant scope for expansion of apparel manufacturing activities in the State.
The main competitive advantages offered by locating textile industry in this state are the presence of a large pool of labour and raw material. Raw materials needed for the textile industry are abundant in the State, Mr John told owners of garment industries.
Prakruthi has decided to provide training to 2000 garment workers in the next one year in Bangalore. It has already completed training to 2000 workers in Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, he informed the entrepreneurs.