Labour shortage in India’s garment manufacturing industry threatens restarting of operations
India’s garment and knitwear manufacturing industries are facing a labour shortage, due to migrant workers having to return to their homes during lockdown, and numerous trade bodies have requested assistance.
Both the Noida Apparel Export Centre and the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India have reported labour shortages in garment and knitwear manufacturing facilities around the country.
Some organisations are contacting state governments in areas where many migrant workers come from including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, in the hope of encouraging the workers to return to the factories.
“Sir, you are aware that Noida (Gautam Buddh Nagar) is a well-known garment hub of the country,” the NAEC’s president Lalit Thukral wrote in a letter, the Press Trust of India reported.
“Noida cluster alone has approximately 3,000 readymade garment production-cum export units which are in operation and currently employing around 10 lakh workers.”
The NAEC wrote to the MSME and Export Production Department principal secretary Navneet Sehgal and the Uttar Pradesh government to request the facilitation of securing a workforce of two lakh people.
“I wish to bring to your kind knowledge a matter of concern for us that readymade garment units in Noida are unable to resume the operations because of absence of manpower, despite the UP government order allowing restarting of the production units,” wrote the NAEC.
“We are facing severe problem due to shortage of manpower/workers due to their migration to their native places.”
Thukral also wrote that its members’ manufacturing units in Noida annually export readymade garments worth between Rs 18,000 crore ($2.4 billion) and Rs 20,000 crore. The area is thus responsible for a large proportion of employment in the region.
“There is an acute shortage of those who stitch garments and also those engaged in ironing and pressing of the garments,” said the Mumbai-based CMAI’s chief mentor Rahul Mehta, ET Bureau reported.
The CMAI is also calling for assistance in finding people able to manufacture garments.
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