Twitter
Advertisement

Sivakasi: 8 lakh firecrackers industry workers may lose jobs

Normally, after a week or ten days after Diwali, the fireworks industry commences production for next year's festival.

Latest News
Sivakasi: 8 lakh firecrackers industry workers may lose jobs
Women buy firecrackers in Chennai on Sunday
FacebookTwitterWhatsappLinkedin

TRENDING NOW

As the uncertainty over the fireworks manufacturing industry following the Supreme Court's order to produce only 'green crackers' looms large, the eight lakh workers dependent on the sector and its allied industries in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, the hub for fireworks-manufacturing industries, stare at a bleak future.

The workers are likely to lose their jobs if one goes by the fireworks manufacturers claims of non-availability of any approved chemical composition of the green crackers to replace the existing conventional firecrackers to take up production for next year's Diwali.

Normally, after a week or ten days after Diwali, the fireworks industry commences production for next year's festival. But this year, K Mariappan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA), said that with no approved chemical composition for green crackers, the industries would not be in a position to commence the firecrackers production considering the Supreme Court order dated October 28.

The Apex court has allowed the manufacture of only green and those with reduced emission firecrackers, while also banning the use of barium salt, which is used in the manufacture of 75 per cent of firecrackers. It also directed the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO) to submit a report on reducing the usage of aluminium in two weeks.

Over 1,000 fireworks industries in Sivakasi provide direct and indirect employment to eight lakh people and accounts for the manufacture of 90 per cent of the firecrackers production in the country.

If the industries were to be closed down post-Diwali, over eight lack people would be rendered jobless. "The closure of the fireworks industry will have a cascading effect on the economy of Sivakasi town and Virudhunagar district. A large number of people were dependent on the fireworks and its allied sectors including printing, packing and logistics. Most of them were women who take up home-based work," said M Mahalakshmi, general secretary of Sivakasi Crackers and Matchbox Employees Union affiliated to CITU.

She noted that the workers were put to a lot of hardship when the manufacturers shut for 25 days between December 26 and January 19 this year, seeking early disposal of a public interest litigation filed before the Supreme Court seeking a nationwide ban on manufacture, sale and use of firecrackers alleging air pollution. "The workers were forced to borrow money at high interest from money lenders to meet expenses. Even before they could recover from that, the Apex court delivered a verdict directing the production of only green crackers," she said.

The workers' wages depend on the nature of their work and piece-rate basis (wage based on a number of pieces of crackers). A minimum of Rs 150 will be paid per day. There are contract workers who are earning Rs 300 to Rs 500 per day if they accomplish their jobs swiftly.

Mariappan said that only after Diwali, would they know what the future holds for the industry. "We have filed a review petition in the Supreme Court in this regard. Let us see," he said.

MEAGRE WAGES

  • The workers’ wages depend on the nature of their work and on piece-rate basis (wage based on a number of pieces of crackers)
     
  • A minimum of Rs 150 will be paid per day. There are contract workers who are earning Rs 300 to Rs 500 per day if they accomplish their jobs swiftly
Find your daily dose of news & explainers in your WhatsApp. Stay updated, Stay informed-  Follow DNA on WhatsApp.
Advertisement

Live tv

Advertisement
Advertisement