Pondy to set up silk centre for exports: Minister

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Puducherry, Sep 27 (UNI) In a bid to encourage the knitting industry, the Puducherry Administration will set up a silk centre here to export garments.

Speaking at the concluding day of the Textile Workers Asian Regional Organisation's (TWARO) 53rd Executive Committee Meeting here today, Industries Minister V Vaithilingam said the administration proposed to develop the industry on the lines of Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu.

Turning to labour issues, the Minister said the union territory was following the ILO directions on labour welfare. He said the eight-hour work rule was introduced in the region for the first time in Asia.

He appealed to the delegates to advise the administration on the proper implementation of labour laws.

In his address, Australia's Textile Workers Association National Secretary Tony Woolgar said Australian workers had been protected by strong labour laws, an independent Industrial Relations Court and industrial awards.

However, the scenario changed under the John Howard Regime. Now, under a new law it was mandatory for a new employee to sign the Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) which provides a wage rate and conditions on which he or she was employed. These standards were much lower than those prescribed by the award.

Employers had also developed an array of tactics to exploit the new laws enabling them to force the existing employees out of the award.

He asserted that the workers should struggle and defeat Howard's reforms to achieve advances.

The main aim of the Howard Government and the Business Council of Australia's IR reforms was to destroy all institutions and systems that had helped improve and protect wages, work conditions and family and recreation time of Australian workers, he alleged.

He also asserted the workers would have to unite and struggle to achieve advances and defeat the reforms.

UNI

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