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