Tamil Nadu textile mill supervisor assault women mill workers sexually

Dindigul,Nov2:A letter from six women at a spinning mill in Tamil Nadu, describing the sexual harassment they face at work and asking for help, exposes the widespread exploitation of women in the multi-billion-dollar textile industry, campaigners said.

 “He forces himself on us, constantly hugging us and squeezing our breasts,” the women write, describing the behavior of their male supervisor.

“Any worker who resists his advances loses part of her salary. We need this job and don’t know who to talk to about the abuse we face everyday. Please help us.”

 Sent to the social welfare officer in Dindigul, a district in Tamil Nadu, the eight-page letter dated Aug. 29 is a plea for help from abused and exploited women, rights campaigners said.

“Women normally share their experiences only after quitting their jobs,” said S. Thivyarakhini of the all-women Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union.

This is the first time, we have such raw details of ongoing exploitation. The letter has exposed the underbelly of the textile industry in the region.”

The mill management said they were unaware of the letter and had not received any official complaint.

“There were unsubstantiated allegations against the same person around a year back by a woman worker,” said K.R. Shanmugavel, senior manager at the Rama Spinning Mills.

“We gave him a warning and also terminated the (employment of the) woman worker to avoid further problems.”