At least a few thousand more of the 33,000 powerloom units in Coimbatore and Tiruppur districts were in deep debts, with interest mounting everyday. This situation, which is fast worsening is what has pushed them to decide to close down all their units in an indefinite strike from Thurday (January 28), said the Tirupur District Powerloom Job Working Units Owners Association president R Velusamy.
The monthly interest alone comes up to Rs 20,000 a month. They have to cough up this amount besides the money they pay for labour, electricity bills, replacing spare parts and paying for dyeing, fitting, knotting charges to outsiders whose remuneration they hiked based on the agreement arrived with textile units almost two years back.
The manufacturers said that a large number of units have not been able to pay off their bank interest regularly and that too keeps accumulating over the years.
They blamed this situation on the textile units not keeping their agreement signed in March 2014 with the powerloom unit owners. They had decided to give a 30% hike in job working charges to units in Somanur and 27% of neighbouring areas like Tirupur and Palladam, said R Palanisamy, a member of the Coimbatore District Job working Powerloom Owners' Association.
However, they followed it for hardly three months and went back to their old rates claiming that business was dull. Textile unit usually give them the yarn to be spun into fabric. Because their business is dull, they can't get into debt and go hungry, he said.
An average unit with around 10 looms gets to weave around 600 m of cloth. They used to get around Rs 5 per metre, but it was supposed to be hiked to Rs 6.35 per metre. When they go back to paying them their old rate of Rs 5 per metre they lose around Rs 810 a day and Rs 24,000 a month, said Palanisamy.
They still pay the labour department fixed hiked labour charge of Rs 1.75 per metre to the labourers.
Despite of all the issues faced it till becomes difficult to shut down business immediately also and dismiss labourers who know nothing else but spinning and weaving.
In the last two years all other working costs like electricity, spare parts, knotting, dyeing and everything has increased.
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