The list of apparel companies who have laid off their workers and staff is becoming long. The new addition to this list is the Bengaluru-based famous Indian apparel exporter, Gokaldas Exports.
A notice was posted outside the Euro Clothing Company-II (ECC) informing about this layoff. ECC is, notably, an arm of Gokaldas Exports.
More than 1,300 workers of the company have been laid off and the plant is closed, as per media reports. Consequently, the fired workers demonstrated and also alleged that the company had paid only half-day salaries since last week of March.
The company didn’t reply to the email sent by Apparel Resources in this regard. A senior HR official of the company said that layoffs were unavoidable.
The notice says, “The management of the company has decided to lay off the workers at Srirangapatna plant with effect from Monday (8 June) in the interest of the plant and also to save the employment of the workmen.”
It further reads that the COVID-19 impacted business and exports and that its order position has dwindled to zero. Indian retailers had cancelled their orders with the company at least till the end of the year.
With over 24,000 workers, Gokaldas Exports works with many prestigious brands of US and EU, and has around 20 factories in Karnataka.
Worker unions have been reacting strongly on this; with regard to this Prathiba R., President, Garment Association Trade Workers Union (GATWU) is of the view that the step taken by the export house is a violation of Section 25(m) of the Industrial Disputes Act.
According to her, the company has also removed machinery from the plant. National Trade Union Initiative may challenge this act of the company in court.
Local government officials have an eye on the issue and are trying to mediate a truce between the workers and the company.