TN matchbox factories begin 12-day strike to protest rising raw material costs

The strike is expected to result in an output loss of around Rs 6 crore every day, an industry official told PTI.

Employees engaged in the matchbox industry in Tamili Nadu have started a 12-day strike, starting Wednesday April 6, to protest against the sharp rise in raw materials, an industry official said. More than five lakh workers are employed in the industry, and the workforce comprises 90% female employees. The matchbox industry comprising 350 units with majority in Thoothukudi and Virudhunagar districts has started its strike which is expected to result in loss of output of around Rs 6 crore every day.

“There is no production at the moment. We have approached the government of Tamil Nadu regarding the rise in raw materials. We have not yet received a positive response from them,” said an industry manager at PTI. Workers staged a similar protest last year against rising production costs affecting the industry, he said.

“Even now, we are protesting because the price of raw materials is increasing day by day, the cost of production has increased, and buyers are not interested in buying our products. That’s why we decided to stop production,” said National. Small Matchbox Manufacturers Association secretary VS Sethurathinam said.

The matchbox industry units are spread across Thoothukudi and Virudhunagar districts and serve both domestic and overseas markets, he said. “The prices of raw materials like wax, red phosphorus have seen a big increase. The truck freight prices have also increased. But we are not able to obtain the desired sales rates, and in addition there is no there are no orders,” he said.

On a question, the secretary of the association said that more than 90% of the employees are women and that the livelihood of these people will be affected. Sethurathinam said the 350 companies produce 5,000 packs per day. Each package costs around Rs 400. “It will impact businesses due to the strike,” he said.

“Kovilpatti, Kazhugumalai and Vilathikulam in Thoothukudi district, and Sattur, Sivakasi and Thiruthangal in Virudhunagar district, make up the majority of the industry. Some companies are also located in Tenkasi and Vellore districts,” he said. he declares.

The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) in Namakkal, representing truck owners, lent its support to the strike, he said. “We are not loading any goods into trucks due to the strike. The AIMTC has also given us support,” Sethurathinam said.