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India: Madras court ordered pay rise for garment workers; companies not complying after a year

Author: Anuradha Nagaraj, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Published on: 2 August 2017

"India's low-paid garment workers seek $7.6 mln compensation", 17 Jul 2017

…Tens of thousands of workers in Tamil Nadu state…are seeking millions of dollars in compensation following a landmark court ruling last year that declared they had long been grossly underpaid…The claims, which would benefit at least 80,000 workers at factories around the port city, add up to more than 490 million Indian rupees ($7.6 million).

But workers say managers have defaulted or delayed on payments since the ruling…"Instead of paying workers their correct salaries, companies are finding ways to surreptitiously squash their rights," said Selvi Palani, a lawyer helping workers' unions fight their cases…Under the 1948 Minimum Wages Act, state governments are required to increase the basic minimum wage every five years to protect workers against exploitation, but textile manufacturers have repeatedly challenged pay rises in Tamil Nadu...

...[S]ome companies ha[ve] launched an appeal against the order at the Madras High Court...

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