Stand with Kerala's KITEX factory Migrant workers! Drop all charges against them!

Stand with Kerala's KITEX factory Migrant workers! Drop all charges against them!

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Why this petition matters

On 25th December 2021, a minor scuffle occured between migrant workers/Guest Workers and security guards at a factory of KITEX Garments in Kizhakkambalam, Ernakulam, Kerala. This later turned to a violent incident in which a vehicle was destroyed. There was always tension between the workers and the factory owing to the exploitative conditions in which migrant labourers are employed. The Migrant working in the factory were charged with criminal cases. 

Apart from the low wages and harsh working conditions, workers are not allowed outside the factory or to interact with the resident population. They are confined to Labour Camps and treated as if In slavery. 

The workers are routinely criminalised and segregated from the local population and are socially discriminated. 

KITEX management have also shown hostility towards any attempt from the part of the workers to unionise. This is often done by taking regular surveillance on the workers. 

Owing to the high regimentation and restrictive controls placed on the life of workers, the relationship between workers and security guards were tensed. 

On 25th December, following the scuffle the police came and unilaterally started taking action on workers and were not ready to listen to the side of the workers. This finally resulted in a major tension and resulted in the burning of a vehicle by some workers. Following this, about 174 migrant workers were arrested. 

As per the current status everyone included were issued bail. The Delhi-based NGO led by Adv. Shinas and Adv. Bharathi intervened on behalf of the above workers. 

However the cases remain. This petition acknowledges the larger causes behind the violent incident. It is the regular hostility and repression of KITEX towards workers and their animal like treatment towards workers which caused the violent outburst. They were not even ready to let in the fact-finding team by AILAJ to interview and study the condition of the workers.

Sign this petition to demand that all migrant workers charged with criminal cases be released and all charges propped on them be dropped. 

And further, the State Government and the Labour Department must ensure 
that the migrant workers are not treated as slaves and locked up in the “labour camps” and instead have full freedom of movement and access to 
trade unions and other pro workers organisations.

Finally, the Labour Department shall ensure compliance of section 3 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 regarding the constituting of Works Committee  and Section 9C regarding Grievance Redressal Committees for the immediate resolution of the issues of workers.

71 have signed. Let’s get to 100!