High Court dismisses writ petitions challenging Government Order on Minimum Wages for Garment Workers

PRESS STATEMENT

Garment and Fashion Workers Union welcomes the decision of the Division Bench of upholding the Government Order 59 2D, dated 03.12.14. The Division Bench constituted by Justices Mr. Ulavadi G. Ramesh and Mr. M V Murlidharan, upheld government writ appeal WA 867/2015 and dismissed about 550 petitions filed garment manufacturers to quash the revision in minimum wages for tailoring industry. The final notification for wage revision in Tailoring Industry was passed on 3.12.14 after a gap of 8 years. In 2005 the minimum wage was not implemented because of stay granted then. It took a huge effort by the workers’ union to get all writ petitions dismissed. In 2012 the government started the process of revising minimum wages, and finally notified GO 59 dated 03.12.2014.

The judges held that given the long history of non-payment of minimum wages, an exemplary interest of 6 percent should be paid on the unpaid wages/arrears since December 2014 within a period of two months. Further, the court directed the government and workers union should take efforts to see to the effective implementation.

GAFWU and Penn Thozhilalargal Sangam thank the government led by Chief Minister Dr. Jayalaitha and especially the department of labour for ensuring that the case has been completed and writ petitions preventing implementation of the minimum wages are dismissed.

We request the Government to ensure that the new minimum wage is implemented with effect from 03.12.2014, that workers are paid arrears with 6 percent interest as directed by the High Court. We request the Government to ensure wide publicity through electronic media so workers become aware of their entitled wages. Further, the High Court ruled that all arrears should be paid with 6 percent interest within the next 2 months.

Employers raised all matter of objections and arguments relating to the procedure, data and quantum fixed. However, they admitted that workers needed protection under minimum wage act and they were willing to settle for a lower minimum wage. This goes to show that their plea is only a ploy to distract the workers and government, while they continue violate the Minimum Wage Act.

The Garment and Fashion Workers Union’s calls on all management’s to abide by the order, to ensure justice to the workers who contribute to their profits, foreign exchange for the country and towards the development of the country. We request the Government of Tamil Nadu to take immediate steps to implement the minimum wages, that have been in abeyance for nearly two years, ensure that workers particularly women workers do not have to continue to labour in poverty.

Sujata Mody
President , Garment and Fashion Workers Union(3edg 3317/CNI)
422/4 kilpauk Garden Road, Kilpauk – Chennai 10.
Tel: 26478386, 9962500169 ‎

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