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  • Safeguard interests of cashew workers”

    Jun 5th, 2016

    The LPF-affiliated Cashew nut Factory Employees Union demanded the State government to safeguard the welfare of over 50,000 employees working in over 350 cashew nut processing industries in Kanniyakumari district.Padmanabhapuram MLA T. Mano Thangaraj presided over a demonstration in front of a cashew processing factory in Narayanathuvilai at Thottavaram on Saturday.Presiding over the demonstration, Mr. Mano Thangaraj said that cashew nut processing units across the State demanded withdrawal of 9.36 per cent import duty on cashew in the general budget as it would hit the very existence of the industry.Though the government was giving back five per cent of import duty while exporting the processed nuts, the factory owners were unable to bear the brunt as the industry was already in doldrums due to shortage of raw materials and non-remunerative prices for the processed nuts.

    The industry, which provided employment to over two lakh women across the State and over 50,000 women in the district, was resorting either to shutdown or restricted processing to one or two days a week. This had had a cascading effect on the livelihood of workers’ families. The budget announcement and subsequent notification, dated March 1, enhancing the import duty to 9.36 per cent should be withdrawn, Mr. Mano Thangaraj said. Due to these factors, the factory owners resorted to reduce the working days in a week, halving DA given to them and also reducing the rate of bonus extended so far. The government should intervene in this matter to safeguard the interests of the employees and their families dependent on cashew industries.

    Over 2000 cashew nut processing industries downed their shutters for three days across the State from March 7.