CHENNAI: The country’s leading readymade and knitwear cluster in Tirupur has shelved a plan to bring back guest workers following a spike in Covid-19 cases in the districts.
The sector engages around 6 lakh workers. Of them, around 2 lakh are from Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and UP. A majority of them had gone to their native states following an outbreak of Covid-19 cases two months ago.
Though guest workers have sent out feelers to return, member units of Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA), an umbrella organisation of all entrepreneurs in the textile hub, are apprehensive of facilitating their transportation to Tirupur.
TEA has asked its members to continue its operation with the existing workforce. The office bearers of the association have taken the decision following the spread of Covid infections in rural TN. “At present, the industry is working with around 3 lakh workers and meeting the lean-season demand. Bringing workers from outside the district might put at risk the tranquillity in the industry and endanger its operation,” president of TEA Raja M Shanmugam told TOI.
The association has told members not to bring back workers from outside the district, particularly from containment zones. “The industry is managing 40% to 50% production with the existing workforce. This is normal production during lean season. We want to sustain this until the normalcy returns,” Shanmugam said.
A few of the member units had plans to bring workers from the northern states. However, they have been asked to postpone their plans by two weeks. “We are in touch with the workers who had gone to their native village in Bihar. They want to come back to work and have asked us to get an e-pass for them. But we have put the plan on hold now, keeping the wellbeing of the workers who are with us now,” said an employer.
Published On : 09-07-2020
Source : Business Standard