Pandemic restrictions force commercial concerns to follow ‘no work no salary’ model

As big shops are closed due to the lcokdown imposed, the normally crowded NSC Bose Road presents a very quiet picture.   | Photo Credit: SRINATH M

COVID 19 restrictions imposed by the State government has hit business hard and a large number of workers employed in large scale commercial establishments have become jobless in Tiruchi.

Most of the shopping malls, textile showrooms and jewellery marts downed their shutters since Wednesday here in compliance with the directive of the State government. The owners and managements of the establishments were told that the establishments with space exceeding 3000 square feet would have to down shutters until further notice from the government. The managements were told that it was aimed at preventing crowds so as to check the spread of the COVID 19 infections.

Following this, major establishments on NSB Road, Big Bazar Street, West Boulevard Road, College Road, Chathiram Bus Stand, Cantonment and other areas remained closed. The textile and departmental stores on Tiruchi-Thanjavur road also closed their businesses. The employees and workers were apparently told not to report for work until further notice.

Though the decision is said to be inevitable given the current situation, which has turned out to be grim, traders and merchants are of the view that it would have a cascading effect not only on turnover and revenue but also on workers and their livelihood.

Big commercial establishments employ workers in large numbers. The government directive has forced them to be out of workplaces at least for a month. Based on the last year experience, it said that except a few establishments most of them would not pay salary to the employees for the closed period.

“It is a huge loss for us. Whether we have business or not we need to pay rent to the landlords. We cannot escape from it. Moreover it is not easy to pay salary to employees when business is zero,” observed a manager of a major establishment near Chathiram Bus Stand.

Though the government has not opted for total lockdown, the business streets in Tiruchi are witnessing less crowd for the last two weeks.

“Business is so dull as customers prefer to stay indoors as a precaution. The streets. which are usually busy with hundreds of customers, are literally deserted,” says M. Akilan, a road side trader on Big Bazar Street.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 5:17:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/pandemic-restrictions-force-commercial-concerns-to-follow-no-work-no-salary-model/article34441695.ece

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