Workers becomes torch bearers as they rally across the
The All India Rally of garment and sportswear industry
workers mobilized thousands of workers across the country
passing through Tirupur, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Surat,
Kolkata and Ludhiana, the major garment producing centre.
The Rally will culminate in a meeting to be addressed by
the Labour and Sports Minister in Delhi in August.
Tiruppur, 19th July: The All India Rally of the Garment
and Sportswear Industry Workers commenced at Tiruppur on
19 July. A public meeting was organised by CITU, AITUC,
AICCTU, INTUC, LPF, MLF and SAVE.
The meeting was conducted at KSR Hall. A large gathering
of 850 to 900 garment workers made the meeting a huge success.
It started at 6.30 p.m. and ended by 9 p.m. The Organising
Committee distributed brochures printed in Tamil amongst
the workers. Signatures were collected on a mass petition
to be submitted to the Labour and Sports Ministers in the
concluding meeting to be held in Delhi in August. The media
covered the event both on the day of the meeting and a day
prior to it as well.
N. Chandran, General Secretary, Coimbatore District, CITU,
Chaired the meeting. Other speakers were Mr. Dandapani,
Secretary, Coimbatore District, INTUC, A. Aloysius, Director,
SAVE, J John, Director, CEC, R. A. Mital, General Secretary,
HMS, Muthu Kumara Swamy, Secretary, MLF, Govinda Swamy,
CITU and Govindarajan AITUC.
Chennai Report: The All India Rally of the Garment and
Sportswear Industry Workers reached Chennai on 20 July.
A Public Meeting in Chennai was organised by AITUC, AICCTU,
HMS, CITU, NTUI, UTUCLS and regional trade unions like Labour
Progressive Front (LPF) and MLF and Movement for People's
The meeting was organised at Ambathur Industrial Estate,
the biggest industrial zone in Chennai, where nearly two
lakh workers engage in garment production daily. The meeting
started by 6 p.m. and closed by 8.30 p.m. The venue and
time of the meeting were well chosen for it caught attention
of the general public and was well covered by the media.
Brochures and pamphlets printed in Tamil by the Chennai
organising committee were also distributed amongst the public.
Mr. Selva Raj, General Secretary of the Labour progressive
Front (LPF), Chaired the meeting. In his introductory speech
he mentioned the context in which the Play Fair at the Olympics
Campaign had been launched. Other speakers at the meeting
were R. A. Mital, General Secretary, HMS, T R S Mani, State
General Secretary, Chennai AITUC, A G Kasinathan, District
Vice President, Ambathur District, CITU, J John, Director,
Centre for Education and Communication (CEC), Mr. Subbu,
NTUI, Mr. Shiv Kumar, UTUCSL, Mr. Kumar, General Secretary,
Tiruvollur District, Johnson, Joint Secretary, LPF, J. Shree
Ram, Movement for People's Unity and S. V. Paramashivam,
State Assistant General Secretary, MLF. The final vote of
thanks was given by Comrade Palaniyappan, Ambathur President,
At the end of the meeting signatures were collected on
a mass petition to be submitted to the Labour and Sports
Ministers in a concluding meeting at Delhi in August.
Bangalore report: On day three the Garment and Sportswear
Industry Workers reached Bangalore on 21 July from Chennai.
The meeting in Bangalore was organised at AITUC state office
auditorium at 4.30 p.m. Trade Union leadership from CITU,
UTUC, HMS, INTUC, AICCTU and AITUC were present. About 200
workers belonging to different trade unions and from various
garment-manufacturing units participated in the meeting.
The meeting was Chaired by M. C. Narasimhan, State President,
AITUC, who emphasised on the need to organise workers in
the garment sector. He also thanked all the trade unions
for coming together on one platform for the cause of the
Others who addressed the crowd included Comrade Varalakshmi,
CITU, Srinivas Murthy, HMS, Prakash, UTUC and N. Prabha,
INTUC. E. Suneetha, CEC and Pranjal Goswami of CEC described
the context, significance and objectives of the campaign.
The mass petition was also signed by all the participants
to be submitted to the sports and Labour minister at the
Delhi meeting in August.
Mumbai 23rd July: Destination four was Mumbai where the
workers rally reached on 23 July from Bangalore. The meeting
in Mumbai was organised by the Maharashtra State HMS members
at Vanmali Hall, Dadar West. Comrade Vasanth Gupte, HMS,
Chaired the meeting. He emphasised on implementing proper
and fair rules for garment and sportswear manufacturing
units. He also described the activities of the newly formed
association, 'Garment Kamgar Sushan Manch'.
Other speakers at the meeting included Comrade Bajrang
D Chavan, RMM, Comrade B. R. Shukla, Shrava Shramik Sangh,
Comrade Sanjay Badhavkar, HMS, Comrade S. Srinivas Murthy,
HMS, Bamgalore, Comrade Dada Samant, KAM, Comrade G. B.
Gawde, INTUC, Comrade D. Thankappan, NTUI, Comrade Gunjan
Khatie, GKSS and Comrade Vivek Monteioro, CITU. Pranjal
Goswami and Suneetha Eluri of CEC explained the objectives
and context in which the campaign was being taken out. Comrade
Desai of HMS extended the Vote of Thanks at the end of the
meeting. The meeting was well attended and ended with the
resolution of taking the campaign forward.
Prior to the meeting a press conference was held to explain
the activities carried out so far by the Play Fair at the
Olympics: India Campaign.
Surat 25 July: The garment workers rally meeting in Surat
was held at the South Gujrat Labour Institute on 25 July.
There was gathering of 50-60 people from different unions
and organisation - namely INTUC, AITUC, NTUI Dakshin Gujarat
Kamgar Association, Textile Labour Union, L&T Kamgar
Sangh GGCL Employees Union, Cyanide Chemical Employees Union,
Chemical Mazdoor Panchayat, Jana Sangharsh Naatya Manch.
The meeting was chaired by Comrade Naishad B Desai, President,
SGLI. Comrade Desai expressed the need to take the campaign
to every field of work where the labour class faces exploitation
and demand recognition of labour. Comrade Vijay Shenmare,
AITUC, Comrade Urmilaben Rana of INTUC addressed the workers,
urging them to unite and not compromise on their rights.
E Suneetha (CEC), Pranjal Jyoti Goswami (CEC) and Ashim
Roy (NTUI) explained the context, objectives and the activities
of the campaign. Representative from All India Insurance
Employee Union requested the gathering to form a people's
forum to fight together. Representative from Dakshim Gujarat
Kamgar Association was also present.
The entire representative signed the 'mass appeal'. A separate
resolution was also passed in the meeting. According to
the resolution (1) Four members from different unions would
represent Surat in the 4th August meeting. (2) During the
Olympics at Athens all the textile industry workers will
demonstrate against workers exploitation. (3) A letter with
the case study of the textile workers would be sent to the
Olympics Association. (4) Small leaflets would be circulated
in Surat to sensitise the general public.
The meeting was successful with an enthusiastic participation
from the workers determined to carry on the fight to improve
Kolkata 28th July: A public meeting for All India Rally
of garment and Sports wear workers was conducted in Kolkata
on 28th August. The UTUC state unit conducted the meeting.
About 850 garment workers gathered at Kirawai Road with
the banners and badges upholding Play Fair at the Olympics:
India Campaign. A significant number of the workers present
comprised women workers. UTUC state unit led the Rally at
3 p.m. from Kirwai Road. The Olympic model torch was passed
to the workers. The Rally passed through all the important
business centres of Kolkata - Kirwai Road, SN Banarjee Road,
Jawahar Lal Nehru Road, New Market and Esponid East, finally
reaching the Lenin Statue at Wellington Square, venue for
the public meting by 4 p.m. The rally as it passed, drew
the attention of many who joined them for the meeting.
Sunil Sen Gupta, General Secretary, UTUC chaired the session.
He addressed the gathering giving a philosophical approach
to the campaign. Other speakers who addressed the public
were PK Ganguly, working committee member, CITU, Comrade
Ashok Ghosh, State Secretary, UTUC, Comrade Viplav Sen,
UTUC leader from Kolkata and Comrade Mihir Chandra.
The meeting ended with collection of signatures on the
mass petition and show of enthusiasm and determination from
the workers to carry the demand for their rights forward.
Ludhiana 30th July: Ludhiana, the last of the eight centres
that the workers took the campaign to was reached on 30
July. A public meeting organised by AITUC, CITU, HMS and
INTUC at the Janakpuri Community Centre.
About 400 garment workers were addressed by Sree Swaran
Singh, District President, INTUC, who chaired the session.
A D. Nagpal, Central Committee member, HMS, Com Jagdish
Chand, Ludhiana leader, CITU, Sanjeev Pathak, Secretary,
HMS (Punjab), Dr. Subhash Chander Sharma, President, INTUC
(Punjab), S K Tiwari, INTUC, O P Mehta, AITUC, H S Mishra,
HMS, P I Raveendranathan and Suneetha Eluri from CEC were
the others who addressed the gathering.
At the end of the meeting all workers came forward to sign
the mass petition to be submitted to the Labour and Sports
Ministers at the concluding meeting to be held in Delhi.
The meeting ended with a good cheer from the workers to
carry on their struggle for better working conditions
Concluding Meeting at Delhi: The Concluding Meeting of
All India Rally of Garment and Sportswear Workers was held
at Delhi on 24th August in Constitution Club, Speakers Hall.