The units situated within the corporate limits have been allowed to have 25-30% workforce capacity initially and the units situated outside the corporation will have 50% workforce capacity.
The Tirupur readymade garments/knitwear cluster has begun operations in a slow and steady manner. Being in the Red Zone category, the export units as many as 1,100 are happy to have resumed their operations with local workforce. The units have been getting increased enquiries from buyers from the US, European Union, among other countries, for samples and accordingly the units begun sending samplings.
“We have enough workforce available locally within our corporation limits and we are happy to have begun our work with them. The units situated within the corporate limits have been allowed to have 25-30% workforce capacity initially and the units situated outside the corporation will have 50% workforce capacity as per both central and state governments’ guidelines. Hence, we don’t see any labour problem at this point of time,” said Raja M Shanmugham, president, Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA).
Replying to a query, Shanmugham said: “Being in Red Zone, one cannot afford to have heavy workforce to resume operations. Moreover, the export orders need to be firmed up post our samplings. Once we start getting export orders, the units will ramp up workforce as per SOP laid down by the local authorities.”
“One (exporters) cannot expect that everything will happen upfront. The resumption will be gradual till such time when not only restrictions go but also exports fall in our line. Though we have made a request with the local Collectorate to allow us to move people within the state, it is unfair to demand things should happen immediately,” he said.
He said the collector is responsible to the government and follows what he has been asked to do. “Even we (the units) are afraid of coronavirus spread. Since majority of the districts in Tamil Nadu come under Red Zone category, it is difficult and not permissible to bring workers from other districts within the state. Moreover, public transport has not started in the state. We have to understand the ground reality hence slow and steady approach. We strongly believe that exports will gather momentum soon and accordingly relaxations will also be eased by the Collectorate.”
Since the cluster has already lost its business in the 40-day lockout, so the units need to be cautious in not inviting trouble through Covid further. The slow and steady approach is need of the hour at this point and accordingly everyone follows it, he pointed out.
According to him, though migrants from different states want to go back to their respective states, a host of them have decided to stay back as the units outside the Tirupur city corporation have also begun their operations. These units have been allowed to resume operations with 50% workforce. Since most of the migrants stay outside the city limits, all these workers have been deployed accordingly, Shanmugham said.