The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami during a campaign rally in Virudhunagar announced that the state government will set up a welfare board for the firecracker and matchbox manufacturing workers in the state. A formal notification to this regard was released by the government on Wednesday informing that the welfare board will also be headed by Tamil Nadu Labour Minister Nilofer Kafeel.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami during a rally in Virudhunagar last month said, Tamil Nadu remains on the first place in ensuring protection for the labourers in fireworks and matchbox industry and the workers are receiving benefits under Manual Workers Welfare Board.
In the industry, over 4 lakh people are employed and to ensure their safety Minister for Milk and Dairy Development Rajenthra Balaji and the firecracker associations requested the government to set up a separate welfare board for the workers in the fireworks and matchbox industry. Accepting the request, Tamil Nadu government will set up a welfare board for the employees of the unorganized sector working in firework and matchbox industry, the Chief Minister said.
As per the announcement of the Chief Minister, a statement on Wednesday said, Tamil Nadu fireworks and matchbox welfare board will be headed by Labour Minister Nilofer Kafeel and the board will include Labour and Employment Department Secretary, Health Director, Workers' representative and representative of firework manufacturing unit.
The welfare board will be set up with 62,661 workers already part of Manual Workers Welfare Board in the firecracker and matchbox manufacturing unit. The remaining workers can register themselves and receive the benefits of the organization, it said.
The workers of firecracker and matchbox industry have long been demanding for a state run welfare board due to the poor working conditions and low pay in the industry. The poor working conditions also had an adverse impact on the workers and resulted in fire mishaps. In this scenario, adding to the woes, the ban on bursting firecrackers along with the pandemic came as a blow to the workers in the industry.