Trade unions here have demanded reopening of the National Textile Corporation (NTC) mills in the State.
Members of LPF and CITU staged a protest here in this regard on Wednesday.
They pointed out that seven of the 23 NTC mills in the country are located in Tamil Nadu and provide jobs to about 6,000 workers. The units are not operating since last March when the lockdown was announced to control the spread of the pandemic. The workers are paid 50% wages while the officials continue to get 100% salary, the unions said.
The mills should be operated so that the workers get full wages. There are reports that the Central Government is not reopening the mills so that the units can be shutdown or privatised over a period of time. With the Government not opening the mills, the workers also doubt if there is such a move by the Government, the unions said.
According to M. Arumugam, former CPI MLA of Valparai, even the units that were reopened in February-March are closed again because cotton is not available with the mills.
The Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions here have sent a letter through Coimbatore MP P.R. Natarajan seeking appointment with the Union Textile Minister. “We will meet the Minister and request reopening of the mills when we get the appointment,” he said.