Coimbatore: The Madras high court has ordered a hike of up to 30 per cent for thousands of garment workers in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the first minimum wage hike in more than 12 years. Only about 20,000-30,000 of the 3 lakh-odd workers in garment units would be covered by the hike in minimum wages. Since a large number of workers in knitted garment factories work on a job rate, piece rate and contractual basis, there would be no impact on the industry, officials said.
The Tamil Nadu government had notified separate minimum wages for the hosiery segment that covered export units as well, which would not be impacted by the move, top industry officials said. But lawyers for 500 clothing manufacturers and exporters, who supply many international brands, said the new wages would be “practically impossible” to introduce given the tough global market conditions. Industry sources said “Most workers in knitwear units are employed on a contractual basis and do not get ployed on a contractual basis and do not get benefits such as PF and gratuity.”