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A STUDY ON GARMENT PRODUCTION MOBILITY IN TIRUPPUR

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A STUDY ON GARMENT PRODUCTION MOBILITY IN TIRUPPUR CONDUCTED BY LABOUR RESOURCE CENTER SAVE No.5, Iswarya Nagar, Dharapuram Road, K.N..P. Colony (Post), Tirupur Phone: ,
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A STUDY ON GARMENT PRODUCTION MOBILITY IN TIRUPPUR CONDUCTED BY LABOUR RESOURCE CENTER SAVE No.5, Iswarya Nagar, Dharapuram Road, K.N..P. Colony (Post), Tirupur Phone: , PROJECT HOLDER Mr. A. Aloysius, Director, SAVE CONTENTS 1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION 2 2. PROBLEM STATEMENT 3 3. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY 4 4. REVIEW OF RESEARCH STUDIES 4 5. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 8 6. INDUSTRIAL SURVEY 9 7. DATA COLLECTION ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION MAJOR FINDINGS RECOMMENDATIONS 44 LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 2 A STUDY ON GARMENT PRODUCTION MOBILITY IN TIRUPPUR Abstract This study carried out by Labour Resource Centre (LRC) of SAVE, Tiruppur attempts to find out the garment production mobility in terms of garment workers involvement in the production, wages prevailing in the industries and worker s violation at workplace. Three pronged approaches were used in the data collection viz., industrial survey, focused group discussion and interview schedule survey. In industrial survey 25 industries were survey, in focused group discussion a group of 7 workers of various industries were interviewed, 120 individual workers were interviewed using interview schedule tool. Most of sampled industries are manufacturing and exporting garments in the ranges of to pieces per month. Seven tenth of the sampled industries are making an annual turnover of rupees 7 crores to 9 crores. Majority of the workers are in the adult age group of 28 to 37 years. Women workers are observed high in garment industries in equal proportion with the men workers. Psychological and sexual abuses are more prevalent in the industries, of whom women are more vulnerable. 1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION Garment Production, is termed as a manufacture and processing of knitwear products or merchandise, including its design, treatment at various stages, and financial services contributed by bankers. Various economic laws, price data, and available resources are among the factors in production that must be considered by both private and governmental producers. Tirupur and Chennai in Tamil Nadu is the bastion of garment export oriented industries, of which the former is the prominent one. SAVE organisation has been committed for the empowerment of garment workers in Tirupur and had a discontentment in the irregularities existing in the garment production mobility, and in this concern felt the necessities of analysing the mobility of garment production in the garment industries in Tamil Nadu, and thus this research has been propelled. LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 3 2. PROBLEM STATEMENT Migrant populace from various parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states such as Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh throng Tiruppur region, since the region woos those indigent and unskilled workers for its knitwear and its ancillary industries that amount to more than 4500 industrial units in and around Tiruppur town. Urbanisation of the Tiruppur is improvising day to day in the context of its budding garment export trade and in the national development the garment exports yield a significant amount to a tune of more than Rs crores per annum. As the hosiery industrial sectors open channel for employment opportunities many migrants from various parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states come in Tiruppur for their survival. The population growth rate in Tiruppur is more than 100 percent, which is the largest recorded growth rate in the country. The direct garment workers in Tiruppur are more than 4,00,000 and the indirect workers constitute more than 2,00,000. The floating population in Tiruppur is around 50,000 people, who migrate to the region as daily labourers and employed in 6 towns around Tiruppur namely Dharapuram, Kangeyam, Mangalam, Avinashi, Palladam and Perumanallur. These migrants settle in slums and it is indicated that there are more than 80 slums around Tiruppur and that nearly 65 per cent of the population are migrants. The concentration of the migrants from southern parts of Tamil Nadu is high amongst other parts and they constitute 62 per cent. Typical profile of the migrants is men or women in the ages of 16 to 55 years working in the works as helpers, ironers, cutters, singars, flatlocks, chockers, overlocks, living in a constrained room, unvaried minimum wages for their survival, assigned in contract works, working for a prolonged hours of over 12 hours, involved in continuous shifts and not enjoyed the welfare measures. Thus, capital LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 4 accumulation being nothing but the accumulation of labour, it requires the availability of cheap and tractable labour whenever and wherever it needs it. 3. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY To find out the kind of production processes adopted in garment industries. To analyse the production capacity per month in the industries. To correlate the turnover per annum and the wages received by the garment workers. To detect the market price fixation per pieces. To analyse problems of the workers with regard to wages, working conditions, etc. To find out the working conditions at the time of work orders. To enunciate the relationship between the factors of production and an industry s output. To measure the labour exploitation. To find out weaknesses of existing labour standards. 4. REVIEW OF RESEARCH STUDIES In Indian context not much research studies have been undertaken in the field of garment industrial workers, moreover in respect of garment workers in Tiruppur, the numbers are very less. The topics reviewed below give a picture of workers in organized and unorganized sectors in the context of industrial labour activities in relation to western and eastern countries with special concentration in India. LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 5 Clay, Lisa (student author), The effectiveness of the worker rights provisions of the generalized system of preferences: the Bangladesh case study , Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems v. 11 no1 (Spring 2001) p This Note discusses the operation of the worker rights provisions of the US Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP). The author questions the efficacy of the United States GSP program in helping the cause of workers rights in the developing part of the world. Using the restrictive labor policies in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) in Bangladesh as an example, the Note demonstrates the conflicting interests of US investors, workers' associations in the EPZs, and the AFL-CIO. The Note concludes that given the multiplicity of interests, the U.S. GSP has not been successful in promoting workers rights in Bangladesh. It argues instead that worker rights provision should be included in other international trade policies, that the ILO should be given stronger enforcement powers, and the GSP program itself should adopt a clear definition of internationally recognized worker rights. Russell-Brown, Sherrie, Labor Rights as Human rights: The Situation of Women Workers in Jamaica's Export Free Zones , Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law v. 24 no1 (2003) Russell-Brown presents a case study of Jamaicas export free zones (EFZs) that underscores the gap between the implementation and enforcement of labor regulations and the myriad of legal institutions that purport to protect labor rights. In 1997, there were 13,900 workers in these zones, of whom 95 percent were women. Unlike manufacturing in other parts of Jamaica, the export free zones are entirely non-union. Russell-Brown argues that one explanation for the lack of unions in the EFZs stems from the mismatch between a female workforce and male-dominated unions. Russell-Brown also points out that Jamaican trade unions have long been LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 6 political allies of the elite so that the lack of organizing and labor regulation in the EFZs may be a result of that collusion. Russell-Brown argues that the suspension of worker rights in the EFZs violates Jamaican laws, international agreements, and U.S. trade regulations. Despite all of these legal regulations, no enforcement mechanisms have yet been mobilized to remedy the situation. Goolsby, John H. (note: student author), Is the Garment Industry Trying to Pull the Wool Over Your Eyes? The Need for Open Communication to Promote Labor Rights in China , Law & Inequality: Journal of Theory and Practice v. 19 no2 (Summer 2001) p This Note addresses the interplay between labor conditions in China, principles of national sovereignty, free-market labor theory, and global human rights. Section II offers a description of five possible approaches for addressing labor violations in China relying on China's own municipal laws; advancing labor rights through Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) [formerly Most Favored Nation status]; applying business codes of conduct; implementing intergovernmental organizations' mechanisms for promoting compliance with treaties; and promoting greater awareness among Chinese workers of their own legal rights through communications media such as the Internet. Section III assesses the effectiveness of the various strategies by first looking at their limitations, and then discussing how those limitations might be overcome. The author argues that the unifying theme behind all the strategies for improving workers' rights in China must be a drive for more open communication; specifically, Chinese laborers must have greater access to information about their rights under international standards and the laws of their own country, they must be able to voice grievances effectively, and outsiders must have access to information concerning working conditions in Chinese factories. The LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 7 Article concludes that a reduction in constraints on communication is necessary to advance each of these goals, and that the Internet holds unique promise for doing so. Thus for China to be open for business without trammeling workers' rights, it must also become open to the free flow of ideas. POOR INTAKE OF SELECTED NUTRIENTS BY WOMEN WORKERS IN A GARMENT FACTORY, B. Joseph, A. Chanda, A. A. Oommen & V. d Almeida, Department of Community Health, St. John s Medical College, Bangalore. Poor nutritional status was observed among garment industry workers in this study. Taking into account the WHO recommended criteria of BMI 18.5, general physical examination of the employees in the factory revealed that more than 25 per cent of women were undernourished. The study analysis revealed that a large proportion of the workers were consuming a diet which was below the recommended intake of calories in carbohydrates and proteins; and surprisingly, their intake of fat was more than the recommended level. The findings of the study show gross anomalies in the dietary pattern of women workers in the garment industry and calls for a more detailed investigation into the same. Attempts were also made in the present study to identify methods by which dietary intake of the female workers can be improved both in terms of quantity and quality. Rosen, Ellen Israel, The Wal-Mart Effect: The World Trade Organization and the Race to the Bottom , Chapman Law Review v. 8 (Spring 2005) p This article discusses how the World Trade Organization's (WTO) new quota elimination policy negatively affects workers worldwide. Until January 2005, all textile and apparel trade was governed by a system of quotas in an effort to give developing countries access to major U.S. and LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 8 European markets. The author argues that the new no-quota rule by the WTO will result in retailers, including Wal-Mart, moving to countries that can produce the largest volume of apparel at the lowest cost: namely, China and India. The author then looks at how Wal-Mart's business practice of using its power to pressure their suppliers to drive down prices is leading to harsh working conditions for American as well as Chinese workers, particularly women workers. The author concludes that Wal- Mart's style of competition that involves driving down retail prices regardless of the human costs is leading to a race to the bottom in the garment industry. Pertinent to industrial productivity, wage structure, new economy demand for flexibility, occupational culture and the labour process, fair employment to equal employment opportunity, global governance, forced and slaved labour, child labour and health aspects are discussed and reviewed in the above stated studies. 5. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The study adopted three pronged approaches for collecting primary data, they are: Industrial Survey Focused Group Discussion Interview Schedule Survey 5.a. RESEARCH DESIGN Research design is a logical and systematic plan prepared for directing a research study. The research design of this study is descriptive in nature. It constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. This study describes the wage system prevailing in the industries, LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 9 garment market price fixation, trends in production and sales, factors influencing for large influx of immigrants in the creation of sweatshops, type of occupations the workers engaged, assurances rendered by the management, social security benefits available, and implementation of wage settlements. 5.b. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY Larger samples were not collected due to the job task of the workers and they have an illusory fear of being intimated by the employers, if the facts about their garment industries are disclosed. 6. INDUSTRIAL SURVEY The industrial survey was conducted in the Tiruppur industrial quarters to explore the prevailing wage system in the garment export oriented industries to disclose the top brand producing garment export companies. Since the industrial managements are more conscious in not disclosing their companies statistical data to outside persons, despite the research team collected the data through from known Personnel Executives and Managers. 25 companies were studies in this study that export major international brands. These companies Based on these 25 industries available data the report was prepared. 6.i. GARMENT BRANDS Absolutely, all the garment industries are producing knitted garments of all kinds of men, women, children and sports wears based on the procured work orders from the buyers. A majority of the sampled industries are exporting the brands such as Jacquard, Trends, Provouge and Fulchand, 32 percent of the garment industries exports Jammie, LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 10 Adidas, Basics and Thumps, 20 percent of the garment industries exports Tibre, Givo, Stickler and Vivia. United States is the prominent exporting country for most of the industries (76%) supply the brands, next comes, Swizterland, Canada and United Kingdom and then followed by Germany, Netherland, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, South Africa and Kenya. In the post quota regime and in the aftermath of the US-China textile pact, the garment industries are having a competitive edge with China due to its mass production, despite, in no way it seems to affect the garment exports of Tiruppur garment industries, since the pact ends by ii. PRODUCTION CAPACITY Most (32%) of sampled industries are manufacturing and exporting garments in the ranges of to pieces per month. One fifth of the sampled industries are producing capacity in the continuum of and pieces. An equal proportionate of sampled industries (16%) produce the knitted garments in the ranges of pieces and above pieces per month each. 6.iii. ANNUAL TURNOVER OF THE COMPANIES Annual sales turnover of the garment industries in Tiruppur shows that seven tenth of the sampled industries had made an annual turnover of rupees 7 crores to 9 crores, and more than five tenth of the industries had an annual turnover of rupees 9 crores to 11 crores. Three tenth of the industries had an annual turnover of above 9 crores, two tenth of the industries made sales turnover of rupees 5 crores to 3 crores and more than one tenth of the industries of annual sales turnover in the ranges of rupees 11 crores to 13 crores. LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 11 6.iv. MINIMUM WAGE All the leading sampled garment industries they pay a minimum wage of Rs per shift for Cutter and tailor, Rs per shift for checking workers, Rs per shift for sewing workers, Rs per shift for Helper and Rs per shift for Rectifier. The workers who engage in continuous one shift get dearness allowance of Rs and 5 percent of increment irrespective of all categories of workers. 6.v. WORKING HOURS Most of the garment industries in Tiruppur have fixed the regular working hours start at 8.30 am and finish at pm. Most of these industries adopt one and half shifts i.e. 12 hours, total intermission hours is one hour. For a week most of the workers work for 60 to 80 hours per week irrespective of Sunday. Table 1: Time Schedule of the Regular Working Hours Time Duration and activity am to am Work for 2 hours am to am Tea break for 15 minutes am to am Work for 1 hour and 45 minutes 1.15 pm to 3.15 pm Work for 2 hours 3.15 pm to 3.30 pm 15 minutes tea break 3.30 pm to 5.45 pm Work for 2 hours and 15 minutes 5.45 pm to 6.00 pm Intermission for 15 minutes LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 12 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm Working hours for 2 hours and 30 minutes 8.30 pm to 8.45 pm Supper 8.45 pm to pm Working hours for 2 hours and 30 minutes There is no proper regulation system followed in the industries concern to weekly off and on casual and earned leave days. Table 6 shows the time schedule of the regular working hours. Except weekly off, none of the leave system is maintained in the industries and the workers are unaware of taking such leaves. Workers who had put their service more than five years have sparse knowledge on earned and casual leaves. Thus, they are ignorant of their workers rights. 7. DATA COLLECTION USING INTERVIEW SCHEDULE Out of the total garment workers in Tiruppur, 120 garment workers were picked up for collecting data using interview schedule. Based on accessibility and availability of the workers, the interviews were conducted. Initially, the workers were hesitant and scared to furnish information, later after the intervention of the research team; they were convinced and then supplied the needed data. 8. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION The collected data was collated and fed into the computer using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Based on the objectives of the study, the data were analysed for interpretation and presented with statistical inferences using charts and tables. LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 13 CHART 1: AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE RESPONDENTS 38 % 41 % PERCENTAGE % 5 % and above AGE GROUP AGE GROUP In human growth and retardation, age plays a vital biological transition and which cannot be prevented and with relevant to the study it would project the productivity working age group of the garment industries. Chart 1 shows the age distribution of the workers who are involved as garment workers, it is apparent that majority (41%) of the workers were in the adult age group of 28 to 37 years and least (5%) among the total workers were in the threshold of the old ages of 48 years and above. Considerably 38 percent of the workers were in the young ages of 38 to 47 years. 16 percent of the workers were in the middle age group of 38 LABOUR RESOURCE CENTRE SAVE, TIRUPPUR 14 to 47 years. It is evident from the analysed data that nearly four fifth of the workers were in the productive young ages of 18 to 37 years, and thus, the garment industries prefer more workers in these ages. Chart 2: Gender Distribution 45% 55% Male Female Gender Distribution Gender is an important sexual characteristic that points out the male and female working population distribution, concern to this study this factor would give a picture on gender variation in the garment industries in Tiruppur. Chart 2 shows the gender d
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