For the garment factory workers, the Provident Fund issue has always spelt trouble. Thousands of garment factory workers took to the streets in protest against the new rules which barred withdrawal of their EPF. After the protests turned violent, the new rules were withdrawn.
The same garment factory workers had staged a similar protest back in 2001 and once again it was regarding the issue of provident fund. At that time they were protesting the refusal by the PF office in Bengaluru to hand over forms to some of the workers who had lost their jobs.
The protests of 2001:
During the 2001 protests thousands of garment factory workers had taken to the streets. At that time around the traffic had come to a grinding halt for over 4 hours on the Tumkur road. The protests lasted for 2 days.
The garment factory workers that OneIndia spoke with explain that they protest for their rights and not to indulge in violence. A large crowd had gathered in 2001 too, but the protest went on without any vandalism. The protests of 2001 were in fact an emotive one for the garment factory owners.
Apart from protesting against the local PF office which did not issue forms to some employees who had lost their jobs, they were also protesting the job cuts and lay offs in some of the factories. In 2001, the condition of the garment factory workers was bad when compared to now and the working conditions were nothing to tom tom about either they say.