Paper Title
‘Freedom of Association’ and ‘Forced Labour’ in Garment Industries of Bengaluru: an Analytical Study

The garment industries in Karnataka are concentrated in Bangalore where some of the largest export houses of the Country are existing. Today overseas buyers view Bangalore as an important location for sourcing of garments after Bombay and Delhi.From the anecdotes it is evident that the garment workers share a rural, poverty-ridden past and an unflinching hope for prosperity through hard work. Today in Bengaluru, they are sought by garment factories that are increasingly recruiting women from far-flung districts through agencies. About 80% of garment workers in Bengaluru have always been from rural areas, but now there are more interstate migrations. The present study is an attempt to assess the freedom of choice and forced labour of workers in Garment Industry of Bangalore City. Few industries were chosen for the study wherein women workers were more in number compared to male workers. The researcher conducted a preliminary sample study by way of discussions and interviews with the selected workers. This empirical study was conducted on a random sample survey of the workers base of the garments at Bangalore city. The researcher selected 6 Garment Industries for the study based on few inclusion criteria with 480 workers as sampling size. They were assessed on several issues on freedom of association and forced labour. Both the issues were assessed through semi structured questionnaire developed and validated by the researcher. Once the data were collected they were subjected to statistical analysis using chi-square tests.Results revealed that on the whole, 70.2% of the workers in the garment industries had awareness on freedom of association, and majority of them expressed actions on complaints raised. A large majority of the respondents indicated non-existence of the worker union, nor aware of the union affiliation to political parties and did not know regarding freedom to choose worker union. In forced labour, majority of them indicated that they did not force to perform OT including women workers, and original certificates were not collected. Though freedom of association was curbed to certain extent, forced labour issues were not seen much with the selected garment factories. Keywords - Garment Industries, Freedom of Association, ForcedLabour