History & Background

The textile and garment sector contributes to about 14 percent of India’s Industrial production, making up 4 percent of the country’s GDP. Labour intensive, the textile sector employs over 35 million peoples directly. Garments manufactures In India under various labels are exported globally. As the demand for quality, innovation and reduced manufacturing cost increases, industrial heads often resort to exploitation of the most vulnerable groups in the supply chain. The group that is voiceless and vulnerable. The grassroots level women laborers of the textile industry. New labour practices get tacit government support given the logic of gaining so called “investor’s confidence” while the workers been left out without any legal or union protection.

Innovative employment practices, that at most times are unethical and in violation to all man found legal and human rights laws are often undertaken by the industrial heads to gain that extra profit. Driven by greed, profit motive and protected by position of power, wealth, and inefficient legal system, these unscrupulous mill owners drain the last bit of life of every woman and child that they can get hold of to work for them.

Several thousands of young girls, as young as 12 years of age are employed by spinning mills in the pretense of trainees or apprentices, but who are actually bonded slave laborers working under forced labour conditions. These girls, from marginalized, vulnerable and extremely poor backgrounds, lured into the pretense of good work are made to work for long hours in extreme working conditions, without been paid their statutory wages and are been subjected to poor health and safety standards. These girls are verbally, physically and sexually abused, with million untold stories of pain and sufferings.

More than 60 percent of the spinning mills of the country are in Tamilnadu. Particularly in the drought prone southern states such as Dindigul, Erode, Coimbatore and Tirupur. While giving a tough challenge to the world leader China, it is expected that Indian garment industry will be world no one by the year 2035. The clothes manufactured here are displayed and sold in Europe and America by top fashion brands.

There are over 3,500 spinning mills in operation in Tamilnadu. These mills employ 5 lakh workers of which over 2 lakh adolescent girls been employed as camp coolies under various pretense. Spinning mills are the second highest sector employing women after agriculture sector. A study by NGO reveals that in Dindigul district alone there are 200 spinning mills (167 large and 33 medium) employing 96,000 persons of which 78, 400 are women.

VISION

A fair and equal Place for women in the society and workplace

Mission

To create an equalitarian society that will ensure equality, fairness and mutual respect for womenfolk.

Objectives of the union

  • To organize unorganized women working in spinning mills and other common works into a union to bring them into the safety and protection of the union
  • To protect its members from any form of discrimination, abuse and exploitation at workplace, society and domestic atmosphere.
  • Legal support to girl workers affected by exploitative employment practices.
  • To support and assist morally, emotionally or financially, its members at times of need.
  • To function as the bridge, moderator and facilitator between the workers union members and the employers of the mills or its management.
  • To engage in advocacy and lobby activities with local, state and central government to enact better laws aimed at safeguard women rights and protection from exploitation for women working in spinning mills.

  • To advocacy and lobby with the government to abolish and illegalize the practice of Sumangali Thittam (camp coolie system of bonded Labour) ensuring safety and protection of children and adolescent girls below the age of 18 from been exploited by spinning mills.

  • To seek mutually agreed upon solutions for the issues of the labour union members with the management or to seek legal solutions when solutions are not reached.
  • To stand on behalf of the workers, their rights and to stand against any form of exploitation against women working in manufacturing, construction, service sectors or other sectors.
  • To cooperate, assist and seek assistance and support other organizations and unions that function and operate for the benefit and welfare of the labour
  • To work for the social, political, personal, economic and cultural development and to create equality, peace and harmony between the members of the union.
  • To Promote Education health and sanitation among its members, their families and communities.
  • To Promote Education health and sanitation among its members, their families and communities.