Contract system the culprit: Activists
By N Ramesh / ENS - VIRUDHUNAGAR
06th September 2012 09:17 AM
Activists here have put the blame on the contract system being followed in the fireworks factories.
“The contract system makes the workers compete and there is a tendency to finish work in a short period leading to accidents,” said Palpandi, an activist of the area and added that labourers should be paid decent daily wages as some of the big brand owners of the area do, instead of taking them on a contract basis.
He said that migrant labourers from West Bengal and Maharashtra came cheap but they added to the woes as they were not well versed with the handling of dangerous chemicals.
Overcrowding in sheds was another factor responsible for recurring accidents. Where only four persons were supposed to work, often, as many as eight were forced to work, another activist alleged.
Ulaganathan, a farmer and a CPI functionary, said most villagers hitherto involved in farming were lured towards cracker units as farming was no longer a lucrative occupation. This added to the safety hazards as they lacked expertise in handling dangerous chemicals.
Though the practice of child labour in fireworks factories was on the wane, kids worked during the evening from their homes. Palpandi, who conducted a survey of child labour in the Sivakasi union, said there were 80 children employed as workers in various industries, including firework units.
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