Power Loom Job Workers in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts today appealed to the powers that be to bring in a legislation providing legal sanction to commit suicide, as they were not able to meet their daily requirements due to various reasons.
The appeal was made in identical memorandums to President, Prime Minister, Tamil Nadu Governor, Chief Minister, Supreme Court and Madras High court and also National Human Rights Commission.
Narrating their plight, the power loom owners, who are weaving fabrics for cloth merchants, said that they have to sell gold and other properties to repay the loans taken from banks, as the merchants were not giving the wages as per the agreement arrived in tripartite meeting in 2014.
The owners, who were on indefinite strike recently, seeking to implement the wage agreement arrived at in 2014, for different grade of fabrics, said that the district administration failed to intervene in the problem, resulting in weavers, their families and workers losing their jobs and living in penury, it said.
Besides selling their valuables, some weavers started selling their looms to keep their pride high, but not not able to meet their both ends, they said.
Stating that the frequent tripartite meetings have become a ritual, without any benefit to the weavers, they said that nothing was going to happen by the promises holed out by district collectors and ministers.
“It would be better to commit suicide, instead of dying daily,” it said, adding that many such suicides by weavers have not been reported in the media, like that of farmers.
To prove their point, they released the list of those committed suicide in Tirupur, Coimbatore, Mangalam, Annur and Palladam.
Appealing to the fellow weavers and labourers, the memorandum asked them to not not to commit suicide individually, but can commit mass suicide after getting legal sanction from the Government.
Their major demands include for implementing the wages as per the 2014 agreement, enter into new wage agreement due this year, impose ban on using automatic looms to weave gada fabrics and waiver of bank loans taken by the weavers, procurement of cotton through Cotton Corporation of India and banning of export of cotton waste.