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Manesar industry owners start drive to stop exodus of workers

By Dhananjay Jha, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON MAY 22, 2020 11:10 PM IST

The industry owners in Manesar on Friday started a drive to stop the exodus of the migrant workers by convincing them to stay back and appealing to them to join duty. Industry owners say that the shortage of workers has started negatively affecting the industrial activity in the region.

In Gurugram, more than 3 lakh migrant workers are still waiting for their return to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states. The IMT Manesar industry association has hired a vehicle and deployed two people to visit every village around Manesar over the next two days and talk to migrants to convince them to stay back.

These workers were engaged as casual labourers in industries and construction work. After the national lockdown was announced on March 25 to stop the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), they turned jobless. Additionally, the fear of catching the infection has made them restless to leave the city.

According to sources belonging to Labour Welfare Fund, there are approximately 12.27 lakh labourers in Gurugram, a majority of whom have left the city over the past few weeks.

Of the 1,100 odd industries in the district, the labour shortage now has begun showing its adverse impact on many.

Pawan Yadav from IMT industry association said, “I have appealed to all migrants who were working in my factory to join duty but 70% of them are reluctant to join work and want to return home. Activities, such as loading and unloading of goods, housekeeping and security, have been badly affected by the labour shortage.Salary is not the issue here, but they have made up their mind to return because of the fear of Covid-19. We have started a drive to convince them that they are safe here with job, accommodation and schooling of their kids.”

Starting Monday, the team would visit Udyog Vihar, Sector 34, 37 and other areas.

Ravinder Goel, industry owner, Manesar, said, “This is a good idea as we are now trying to connect directly with migrants. We are suffering due to labour shortage now and the industry will be in a bad shape if they all move out. In the district, 70 to 80% workers are from the neighbouring states and they form the backbone of the industry and the construction business in the region.”

The drive began with chanting of morning prayers, slogan or motto by a group of workers who have already joined the duties in factories at Manesar.

“These workers have joined their duties and now they have decided to speak to their friends as a part of their commitment to the drive,” Yadav said, adding that industrial activities have been hit badly in the absence of casual workers.

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