Coimbatore

Coronavirus | Migrant workers fear another lockdown

A Corporation worker spraying disinfectant at R.S. Puram in Coimbatore. File   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

Some industries in Coimbatore and Tiruppur are reporting that migrant workers are returning to their home States, fearing another lockdown because of the second wave of COVID-19.

“Nearly 100 workers employed at the Kurichi SIDCO Industrial estate have left Coimbatore to their home States in the last three or four days. They went in two buses,” says P. Nallathambi, president of Coimbatore SIDCO Industrial Estate Manufacturers Welfare Association.

“There are reports of another lockdown and workers fear they will be here without work. The government should clarify that there will not be a lockdown,” he said.

“I have received calls since morning that some workers are going back. It looks like there will be a repeat of last year's situation,” says a pumpset unit owner. There are units that have hostels and take care of the workers. There are workers in the unorganised sector. They may be leaving for various reasons, he says. 

“I have received calls since morning that some workers are going back. It looks like there will be a repeat of last year’s situation,” says K.V. Karthik, president of Southern India Engineering Manufacturers Association.

The Coimbatore Tiny and Small Foundry Owners Association president A. Shivashanumugha Kumar said a group of workers in his unit left last Sunday by bus after getting their wages on Saturday. “They are scared of announcement of another lockdown. There is spread of panic among them.” And messages on Whatsapp are only making things worse, he says.

A few workers are returning citing personal reasons such as harvest time at their village or a family function. Further, industries that had slowed down production have revived now because of good orders. Hence, industries do face labour shortage, said C. Sivakumar, president of Coimbatore and Tiruppur districts Micro and Cottage Entrepreneurs Association.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 9:29:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/coronavirus-migrant-workers-fear-another-lockdown/article34289103.ece

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