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India: Euro Clothing factory closure leaves 1,300 garment workers without work; Unions say mandatory notice period was ignored

"Karnataka's oldest garment manufacturer Gokaldas Exports shuts a plant", 8 June 2020

Gokaldas Exports, Karnataka's oldest garments manufacturer that supplies apparels to GAP, H&M, Reebok, Adidas among others has closed a unit and laid off 1300 employees under stress from the coronavirus pandemic fallout. Gokaldas Exports employs nearly 25,000 people, mostly women. The plant - Euro Clothing Company II, which has been shut on Saturday is located in Mandya...

Meanwhile, the trade union leaders and the local tehsildar have alleged they were not given any mandatory one-month notice ahead of the shutdown that took place. On May 30, Euro Clothing had removed some of its machinery from the factory without a discussion with the workers, said R. Pratibha, president of the state-level body Garment and Textile Workers’ Union.

She said her organisation had met the management on June 6 morning but was given no inkling that the factory would be shut down the same evening. At the close of working hours on Saturday, the company posted a notice saying the employees need not come to work from Monday...

“We had met the management today (Saturday) in Bangalore. They cited the lack of orders, owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, as the reason for removing some of the machinery. What’s mysterious is that they haven’t shut any other unit.” Gokaldas Exports has more than 20 garment-making units in Karnataka.

Pratibha said one possible reason the Mandya unit was shut was the strength of the trade union there. “Our union is very strong at this unit. So, it seems, the management decided to pull the plug,” she said

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