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24 Jun 2020

James Crump, The Independent UK

India: Over 1,000 workers left jobless as H&M cancels orders and factory is forced to close; daily protests continue

"Indian factory workers protest after ‘H&M cancels orders’ leaving 1,000 jobless", 25 June 2020

More than 1,000 workers in a garment factory in India lost their jobs without warning, reportedly after H&M cancelled their orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sacked workers are still protesting outside the Euro Clothing Company factory (ECC-2), owned by Gokaldas Exports, in Srirangapatna, Karnataka, weeks after the factory was shut down.

...A notice at the factory read: “The management of the company has decided to lay off the workers at Srirangapatna plant with effect from June 8, 2020, in the interest of the plant and also to save the employment of the workmen.”

...“H&M is the only MNC (manufacturer) for which ECC-2 has been manufacturing in 2020. In 2019, ECC-2 manufactured almost 90% production for H&M.

...After a video of the protesters circulated on social media on Monday, H&M said it was attempting to resolve the conflict.

 H&M replied to a tweet that criticised the factory closure, and said: “The drop in customer demand due to Covid-19 will inevitably impact suppliers, however we are placing orders with this supplier and we fully stand by our responsible purchasing practices.

...Mr Mody added that he thinks “the actions of the supplier are patently illegal and H&M has nothing to say on this. Which law allows the supplier not to pay wages or to lay-off without notice? H&M is in effect party to the union busting through its silence.”