Vijayamohini Textile Mills, which comes under the Union Textile Ministry, has been operating on and off since the pandemic struck about 18 months ago. The mill which comprises 200 permanent employees, about 115 temporary staff and rest daily-wage workers has seen a series of closures and shut-downs since March 2020.
The employees have been protesting in front of the General Post Office urging the Central government to resume operations of the mill as soon as possible. The mill had to be shut down this year due to the second lockdown, which was imposed in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, on May 8. Though the operations resumed on June 1 when the lockdown restrictions were eased, the management again had to stop operations due to the acute shortage of raw material.
Since the nationwide lockdown imposed on March 23, 2020 the management of the mill decided to give only 50 per cent of the salary to its full-time employees. The contract workers and daily wage earners have not received a single penny in the last 18 months. With the mill being closed, the management asked the workers to stay away from work, which forced these workers to take up odd jobs. While the men sought work at construction sites, women were forced to work as domestic help.
The two-day strike was announced on October 5 and was called by the Trivandrum Textile Workers Union.