Six women who work at a spinning mill in southern India, have made headlines in connection with a letter describing the sexual harassment they face at work and asking for help. "He forces himself on us, constantly hugging us and squeezing our breasts," the women write, describing the behavior of their male supervisor. "Any worker who resists his advances loses part of her salary. We need this job and don't know who to talk to about the abuse we face everyday. Please help us."
According to Reuters, "sent to the social welfare officer in Dindigul, a district in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the eight-page letter dated Aug. 29 is a plea for help from abused and exploited women."
"Women normally share their experiences only after quitting their jobs," said S. Thivyarakhini of the all-women Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union. "This is the first time, we have such raw details of ongoing exploitation. The letter has exposed the underbelly of the textile industry in the region."
Reuters notes, "The mill management said they were unaware of the letter and had not received any official complaint."
India is one of the world's largest textile and garment manufacturers. Many of the workers employed in this $40-billion-a-year industry are trapped in debt bondage, face abuse or are forced to work long hours in poor conditions, activists said.