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  • Workers rejoice as cashew factories reopen in Kollam

    Aug 17th, 2016

    Cashew workers in Kollam district are in a festive mood as the factories under the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation resumed functioning on Wednesday after an 11-month break.The cashew processing in the factories was inaugurated by cashew minister J. Mercy Kutty Amma at corporation’s factory in Ayathil here on Wednesday.

    The corporation distributed 900 tons of cashew that reached Kollam among its ten of its 30 factories and the shelling process started.“The rest of them will resume functioning on Thursday. There were lobbying on the part of private cashew company owners to prevent reopening them before Onam aiming at utilising the cashew workers for low wages. They had also conspired for not giving them Onam bonus in the wake of increased minimum wages,” Ms Amma told DC.

    The corporation has also floated new tenders for the purchase of raw cashew kernels, and the tender will be opened on August 23. It will also purchase cashew kernels from the international markets directly, avoiding middlemen, the minister added. The Government will also ensure continuous functioning of the factories and that the workers get the hiked minimum wages.

    The minister said the government has noticed that some private players have not opened their factories though they have enough stock for processing. The minister urged all the private factories that have been shut owing to hiked minimum wages to start functioning along with the corporation.

    The minimum quality to be supplied was brought down to 500 tons from the earlier limit of 2000. The cashew kernels that Vinayaka Cashews in Tuticorin ordered was imported from Guinea-Bissau.