• Karnataka garment workers seek minimum wage hike
Garment workers in Karnataka are demanding that the newly formed HD Kumaraswamy government implement the revision of minimum wages that was withdrawn by the earlier government in March 2018. The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had issued a draft notification in February 2018 proposing to double minimum wages in the state’s garment industry.
As per the draft notification, the minimum wage was to be revised to Rs. 445 per day for an unskilled worker from Rs. 220 a day at present. For a semi-skilled worker the wage was proposed to be revised from Rs.229 to Rs.490. For skilled and highly-skilled workers, the wages were proposed to be revised upwards from Rs.232 and Rs.240 to Rs. 539 and Rs.593, respectively.
The implementation of the notification would have benefitted around 4.5 lakh people, mostly women, employed in the state’s garment industry. The capital city of Bengaluru alone employs nearly 3.5 lakh people.
The notification was withdrawn by the labour department stating that the industry management objected to the revision as minimum wages in the state were already higher compared to other states, and increasing the wages would have an adverse impact on the industry.