The manufacturers have urged customs officials in Delhi urging action against the import of Chinese fireworks illegally. "They have promised to send out letters to the chairmen of major ports to keep a watch on the illegal fireworks. As of now we have decided to continue production till we learn the outcome of the meeting," Selvaraj said.
The Indian Fireworks Manufacturers Association (TIFMA) in Sivakasi submitted its representation through an email. "The future of fireworks industry appears dark for us and we are eagerly waiting for the decisions taken in the talks. We can't stand the Chinese products dumped since they will wipe out the entire local industry," T Kannan, secretary of TIFMA voiced his concern.
Workers on the other hand are yet to come out of the shock from the 10-day lockout. "There are rumours about some units planning to go on long leave citing chemical shortage till the outcome is learnt and the workers are scared," said M Mahalakshmi, district secretary of Fireworks Workers Association in Sivakasi.
Protesting over the explosives fee hike, the manufacturers went on an indefinite lockout from April 5 which left nearly three lakh workforce in misery.
The exorbitant fee hike from Rs 15,000 to Rs 4 lakh frustrated the manufacturers who were already reeling under numerous restrictions on fireworks manufacturing and the hike was just a trigger.
The entire Sivakasi town went on general strike expressing solidarity with the manufacturers on April 15 with nearly 25 associations supporting it. However, it was called off on April 16 after the manufacturers received a call for talks in Delhi on April 21.