Report on Conditions of Migrant Workers in Bangalore’s Garment Industry

Labour without Liberty Feature
The state of Karnataka is known as the textile hub of India. It is responsible for 20% of the national garment production and 8% of all Indian garment exports. Home to roughly 1200 garment factories, employing 500,000 workers (80% of whom are women), its workforce is mainly comprised of migrant women from neighbouring villages and tribal areas of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. However, over the last few years, a new recruiting trend has emerged. Large numbers of women workers in their late teens and early twenties are being brought to the garment factories from northern and eastern states like Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam and Madhya Pradesh under government sponsored schemes. This study, published by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) with reserch support by the Garment Labour Union (GLU), aims to provide insight into living and working conditions of migrant workers in Bangalore garment factories and the challenges they face both on the shopfloor and at the factory hostels. It looks into restrictions on freedom of movement and other indicators of forced labour while comparing working conditions of local workers and migrants. The research aims to share the experiences of (migrant) workers, who do not have the opportunity to voice their concerns in other ways as access to remedies are virtually non-existent.