Over 2,500 workers of the National Textiles Corporation (NTC) in Mumbai have been on strike since June 1, demanding payment for the past eight months of unpaid salaries.
These workers, including both office and mill employees, are facing severe financial hardships, struggling to support their families and meet basic needs such as buying groceries and paying bills. They have also been denied medical benefits, and their gratuities have been blocked since 2020.
The NTC Employees Welfare Forum, representing around 12,000 NTC staff members across the country, has highlighted the dire situation faced by all NTC employees. Out of the total workforce, approximately 750 employees work in the NTC office, while the rest are mill workers.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the three remaining functional mills under the NTC, namely Tata, Podar, India United and Digvijay, have been closed since 2020. During the pandemic, the mill workers were receiving only 50 per cent of their salaries, despite the majority of them being without work.
One of the workers expressed uncertainty regarding the future of the mills, stating that there is no clarity on whether they will be restarted or permanently closed.
The management’s response is that they have requested funds from the textile ministry and will pay the workers when the funds are received. The workers also mentioned the awaited ?120 crore TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) from the mill chawls’ redevelopment, which is intended to be used for paying the workers but has not yet been received.
Following the protest on June 2, a gathering took place between the workers and the officer in charge. During the meeting, the officer reassured the workers that he was actively working to secure the release of funds for their salaries. However, mentioned that the funds would be provided at only 50 per cent of the total amount.