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Mandatory seating facilities for TN’s textile workers

Kerala, after a long agitation by a section of women workers of textile showrooms in Thrissur and other cities demanding “right to sit”.

Harasankaran |

Taking a leaf out of neighbouring Kerala’s footsteps, Tamil Nadu introduced a Bill to provide mandatory seating facilities for the staff working in shops in the state. The Bill introduced by Labour Welfare Minister and Skill Development C.V. Ganesan sought to amend the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act, 1947 by adding a subsection to facilitate seating arrangements to workers, mostly women, in textile showrooms and other shops.

Kerala, after a long agitation by a section of women workers of textile showrooms in Thrissur and other cities demanding “right to sit” introduced a similar bill to provide seats to workers, mostly women, who were made to stand for long hours during their shifts.

The proposed Section 22-A to the Act reads: “The premises of every establishment shall have suitable seating arrangements for all employees so that they may take advantage of any opportunity to sit which may occur in the course of their work and thereby avoid ‘on their toes’ situation throughout the working hours.”

The Bill said that persons employed in shops and establishments in the State “are made to stand throughout their duty time” resulting in varied health issues.

“Considering the plight of the employees who are on their toes throughout their duty time, it is felt necessary to provide seating facilities to all the employees of the shops and establishments,” it said.

The issue of providing seating facilities to the employees was placed in the State Labour Advisory Board Meeting held on September 4, 2019, and was unanimously approved by the members of the Board.