Nearly 150 garment workers staged a protest in front of a garment factory on Mysore Road on Saturday. Pramila Naidu, chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Women, intervened, held multiple rounds of talks and brokered peace, said a statement from the commission.

These workers reside in Mandya. The factory provided for transport from Mandya before the lockdown, which they discontinued. “We workers – all 150 of us – reside in various villages of Mandya district. The company recruited us a year ago promising transport every day, which they provided. However, when the factory reopened in the first week of May, the transport facility was not resumed. None of us could return to work, which has eventually cost us the pay for May,” said Mamata, a garment worker at the protest. Those who protested on Saturday, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, demanded the resumption of transport facilities.

Following the intervention by Karnataka State Commission for Women, the company agreed to get the workers KSRTC bus passes and reimburse all the transport costs they incur to travel to work. “They said the business was under stress and they couldn’t run a bus every day, but agreed to reimburse the costs. While they agreed to pay the full salary for April when the factory was closed, they are unwilling to pay us the salary for May, when we were unable to work. For now, we will resume work from Monday,” Ms. Mamata said.

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