The owners and workers of industrial units affiliated to Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Tiny Enterprises (TACT) have decided not to celebrate Diwali this year to protest the severe power cuts in Coimbatore and other districts in the western region.The decision was taken during an executive committee meeting on Friday.
Speaking to TOI, J James, president, TACT, said that industries have been severely affected due to the outages and many of them are on the verge of closing their units. "Such is the situation that they have not been able to pay salaries or bonuses given every year during the festive season to its employees.
According to James, many owners of the micro and small industries are borrowing huge loans to run the industries and many are selling their properties to retain their workers. "Despite agitations and representations submitted to the government, no action has been taken to improve the power situation in the state. Instead, it has become worse," he noted.
"It is a black period for industries. Over 4,000 members, who are part of the association, have decided not to celebrate the festival," James added.
"Usually, during this time of the year, workers went home happily with their bonuses in hand. However, now they are uncertain about their jobs, while industry owners are unsure as to how long they would be able to run the company," he said.
Hiring and retaining workers has been extremely difficult. Industry owners are finding it challenging to convince their workers to stick it out with them until the situation improves. However, if the downward slide continues, many would leave the industry, complicating the crisis further. The association has urged all industries to participate in the cause.
The government should increase the power cuts in Chennai and it is unfair to have step motherly treatment to other parts of the state, which is taking more than 14 hours of power cut, he added.