Women employees of 10 different units of Sri Lanka-based apparel firm Brandix India Apparel City (BIAC) boycotted duties had staged a protest at the APSEZ on April 15, they led out this protest seeking pay hike and continuity in Provident Fund from the company. Around 7,000 women of the total workforce of 19,000 protested on the roads demanding minimum wages of Rs 10,000.
The protesting workers were from units manufacturing apparels for top international brands such as Quantum Clothing, Ocean India, Seeds Intimate Apparel, Pioneer Elastics and Shore to Shore.
Government officials and CITU leaders rushed to the SEZ to request the women to quit the protest and resume their duties. While the strike continued for a few days at a stretch, amidst the government intervening to check the same. The workers finally decided to return back to work on April 25.
Trying to understand the present status of the upheaval, we got in touch with Brandix. We were thereby informed that with regards to the negative publicity that this situation has already generated, Brandix had made a conscious decision to refrain from making any public statements as this was more an issue concerning government regulations and they felt that the media was unnecessarily blowing the situation out of portion. Having said that, we were also informed that the BIAC team were in constant dialogue with the relevant authorities on a regular basis in bringing about an amicable settlement.
And they were happy to inform that the situation is more or less settled at present and they are soon to release a complete report on the incident, to clear out the heavy clouds that has stirred up the situation in the past month.