Ex­ports down as about 3,000 mid-level pro­fes­sion­als lose job!

Apparel Online - - Perspective Story -

ANoida-based ap­parel ex­porter re­ceived a re­quest from his fel­low ex­porter to ‘ad­just’ 8 staff mem­bers (mostly mer­chan­dis­ers) in his com­pany as the fel­low ex­porter was forced to re­trench th­ese staff mem­bers, since busi­ness was down. In an­other in­ci­dent, a fac­tory in

Noida faced ‘un­rest’ kind of sit­u­a­tion after the man­age­ment was forced to lay off some work­ers, who were un­will­ing to go, even though there was no work in the fac­tory. Heavy de­ploy­ment of po­lice force was pro­vided around the fac­tory to con­trol the sit­u­a­tion (see pic­ture). Names of th­ese fac­to­ries and ex­porters are be­ing with­held on their re­quest. This is not a one-off sit­u­a­tions; con­di­tions are sim­i­lar or even worst in many fac­to­ries/ com­pa­nies across the coun­try.

Many ex­porters are func­tion­ing at min­i­mum capacity while many oth­ers are do­ing con­tract man­u­fac­tur­ing to keep their fac­to­ries run­ning. In December 2017, Ap­parel

On­line re­ported about the lay off of thou­sands of work­ers, and now the heat is be­ing faced by mid-level pro­fes­sion­als too. In some of the com­pa­nies, mid-level pro­fes­sion­als are wait­ing for salary from last three months and are in fact forced to con­tinue work since they are not get­ting new op­por­tu­ni­ties. Most of the com­pa­nies have done some re­trench­ment in re­cent months. As per in­dus­try es­ti­mate, nearly 3,000 mid-level pro­fes­sion­als lost their jobs in ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try in past few months. It is be­lieved that there are a siz­able num­ber of pro­fes­sion­als on the verge of lay off. Con­firm­ing the sit­u­a­tion, one of the hir­ing pro­fes­sion­als of Noida shared on the con­di­tion of anonymity, “Ev­ery day I am get­ting dozens of calls from pro­fes­sion­als who are looking for new jobs and they are re­ally de­pressed as there are not many op­tions for them in other in­dus­tries. Pro­fes­sion­als, es­pe­cially those who are ac­cus­tomed to heavy pack­ages, are find­ing the sit­u­a­tion very dif­fi­cult. There are jobs, but at en­try level or for pro­fes­sion­als with 2 to 3 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence.” He fur­ther added that from last few months hir­ing is be­ing done only by big com­pa­nies or some mid-level com­pa­nies that are fi­nan­cially strong. Though no of­fi­cial sur­vey has been done in Delhi-NCR in this re­gard, but in­sid­ers of the in­dus­try say that this lay off of mid-level pro­fes­sion­als could be very sig­nif­i­cant. Many fac­to­ries to­day have reduced their labour strength to half of what they used to have when the or­ders were good or rea­son­able. In ac­cor­dance, mid-level pro­fes­sion­als have also been re­trenched. In Lud­hi­ana, ex­perts shared that nearly 500 pro­fes­sion­als have been shown the exit gate in last few months and more are ex­pected to be fac­ing sim­i­lar con­se­quences in the com­ing days as there are no im­prove­ment signs. Har­ish Dua, MD, KG Ex­ports shared, “Yes many such pro­fes­sion­als have been forced to re­sign and the trend will con­tinue if we don’t get Govern­ment sup­port.”

Some of the in­dus­try ex­perts feel that con­di­tions are worst in the fac­to­ries that were work­ing on thin mar­gins of around 5 to 8 per cent as they are now not able to sur­vive due to very less duty draw­back rates, which were their sur­vival mar­gins. And such com­pa­nies are more in Tirupur, ac­cord­ing to Raja Shan­mugham, Pres­i­dent, Tirupur Ex­porters’ As­so­ci­a­tion (TEA) as the city is do­ing more ba­sic gar­ments, so mar­gins are nat­u­rally less than any other hub. “More than 500 mid-level pro­fes­sion­als have lost their jobs in Tirupur and th­ese con­di­tions might con­tinue as this is just the be­gin­ning. Only Min­istry of Tex­tiles can save the in­dus­try,” he said ve­he­mently. Re­act­ing to team Ap­parel On­line’s query on the topic, HKL Magu, Chair­man, AEPC ad­mit­ted, “Yes, there are lay offs as many fac­to­ries have less or­ders and are not us­ing their full ca­pac­i­ties, and which re­ally is a mat­ter of concern.” He how­ever con­cluded on a pos­i­tive note that the phase is tran­si­tory and with the pass­ing time, over­all world econ­omy is bound to im­prove, GST process will be smoothened out and con­se­quently mar­ket con­di­tions will im­prove.

Po­lice ve­hi­cles out­side a gar­ment fac­tory in Noida to avoid any un­rest as work­ers were force­fully asked to re­sign with­out any prior no­tice

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