With many of migrant workers returning to the state, Tiruppur is again buzzing with industrial activity. Tamil Nadu was under a strict lockdown until September 7. Though visitors still require e-passes to enter the state, the government has eased restrictions for inter-district travel from September 1. Tamil Nadu has around six lakh power looms that employ around 10 lakh people directly, informs Velusamy, Secretary General, Tamil Nadu Powerloom Federation. Most of these laborers hail from the Southern districts of the state. They did not go back to their towns and villages during the lockdown.
Opening of transport aids laborers’ return
Laborers employed in Tiruppur have starting returning to the city. Some workers are arranging buses while some are availing of the transportation services arranged by their companies. More laborers are expected to return once railways open up, says Raja Shanmugam, President, Tiruppur Exporters Association (TEA). Tiruppur district authorities issued e-passes to 274 companies to bring migrant workers back to the district.
Like Tirrupur, workers employed in spinning mills in and around Coimbatore have also starting returning to work. These mills employ around two lakh workers, of which, over 50 per cent hail from other districts and states, says K Selvaraju, Secretary General, Southern India Mills Association (SIMA)
Orders expected to spurt up
The apparent lack of demand has prompted fears of job losses in the industry. Powerloom weavers in Palladam expect a huge revenue loss due to a decline in demand. Many units have allowed their laborers to go home and come back when demand returns. However, the knitwear industry expects a potential spike in orders as its busy season begins in September and lasts till April the next year. The industry expects huge diversion of orders from Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia to Tiruppur