Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) today urged the Union Labour Ministry to rollback the amendment stating that employers’ contribution withdrawal could only be done when the employee was 58 years, in the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
In a letter to Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, TEA president A. Shaktivel said that the amendment has created ripples in Tirupur knitwear garment cluster, which employed four lakh workers directly, with 70 per cent of women being part of EPFO with an option for withdrawal on cessation of employment.
Further to this amendment, the employees can withdraw the PF account from their own total contribution including interest thereon up to date, but the employers’ contribution could be withdrawn only after they complete 58 years, he said.
Normally girls aged 18 joined garment units and left at the age of 23 / 24 before getting married. The new amendment has created an alarming situation in Tirupur as these women were now apprehensive about having to wait till they turned 58 to receive the employer’s PF contribution, Shaktivel said.
Apart from this, Tirupur cluster was also receiving migrant workers from North India, numbering about
75,000. The inflow from the northern states was still increasing day by day, which was actually helping to meet the labour shortage.
So, there was this apprehension that the amendment would restrict the inflow of workers to Tirupur cluster.
“We actually fear that the notification may trigger the exodus of labour and in such scenario, the garment exporting units would not be in a position to immediately fill up the labour shortage gaps. This will lead to a chain reaction and ultimately the export business will drastically reduce from the present
Considering the gravity of the foreseen repercussions,
TEA has urged the Minister to provide relief and remove the condition put forth in the amendment immediately. This would allow workers to get employer’s contribution when resigned, Shaktivel added