|Workers, trade unions seek govt support|
Workers, trade unions seek govt support
As many as eight lakh workers dependent on the firecracker industry and its allied sectors in Sivakasi stare at a bleak future, the uncertainty following the Supreme Court’s order to produce only ‘green crackers’ continues unresolved. While the firecracker workers in and around Sivakasi is vying for the reopening of the cracker units, authorities in National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation have stated that they are yet to arrive at a conclusion on ‘green fireworks’.
"Till then the government should allow manufacturing those fireworks under production till last year. Even if the formula for green fireworks is worked out, it will take several months to check the industrial viability, its stability during transportation and shelf-life, among many other factors," Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association general secretary K Mariappan.
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) district secretary P N Deva said that this would be the long term solution for the crisis and help the lakhs of labourers get employment.
District general secretary of the Virudhunagar District Crackers and Match Workers Union M Mahalakshmi said that till then the state and Union governments should come out with a few short-terms measures for the survival of the labourers.
"Similar to the dole given to fishermen during the 61-day annual ban on fishing in the coastal districts, the government should give Rs 10,000 to every cracker unit labourer who has lost their jobs," she said.
CPM Sivakasi town secretary P Balasubramanian said the government should ensure supply of essential commodities in and all the ration shops in Virudhunagar district, especially in the pockets where there is concentration of cracker industry workers.