Jute mills approach West Bengal govt to make way for women workers in night shifts

Kolkata, Jun 2 (PTI) The Indian Jute Mills Association has written to the West Bengal government to allow women workers in night shifts to meet the pent-up demand for bags made out of the golden fabric, a proposal that will entail amedments in the existing labour laws of the state in order to materialise.

The association, in a letter to state Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak, sought permission for women to work in Shift C (10 pm-6 am) in the mills.

Women are not allowed to work in night shifts in West Bengal industries, barring the information technology sector, officials said.

Sources said it is possible on a case-to-case basis but the state government will have to relax existing labour laws for the purpose.

Last year, Karnataka had allowed women to work in night shifts in industries with adequate protection.

Among other demands, the jute mills' body has sought consent to employ temporary workers without provident fund for a period of six months.

IJMA said these measures will enable the sector to reach 100 per cent capacity and make up for the labour shortage.

'The jute industry needs to run at full capacity to protect its market,' it said in the letter.

The industry has also urged the state government to come out with an advisory, asking all workers to join duty within 15 days from June 1.

Ghatak was not available for comments. PTI BSM RBT RBT