Above the Din of Sewing Machines documents the exploitative work conditions of women workers in the garment industry in Bangalore (aka the Silicon Valley of India). The city is home to a large garment industry that, until 2001, earned more foreign exchange from exporting cloth than the trade in information technology.
This garment industry is largely geared toward exporting to big brand names in the West, yet workers continuously toil with extremely low wages and an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
Bangalore the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India is not only home to a booming IT industry but also a hub for garment manufacturing units catering to international labels like GAP, TESCO, Wal-Mart and H&M. Approximately 5,00,000 workers are working under very poor conditions in these garment factories. The film ‘Labels from a Global City’ documents the plight of these workers who face several forms of harassment at the workplace including unpaid overtime work, high production targets and harsh treatment by their supervisors.