Tamil Nadu

Fearing another lockdown, migrants head home

Migrant workers have started heading back to their home States, fearing another lockdown because of the second wave of COVID-19, report industries in Coimbatore.

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

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

“I have been receiving calls since the morning about some workers going back. It looks like there will be a repeat of last year’s situation,” said a pumpset unit owner. Some units have hostels for workers. But there are workers in the unorganised sector, and they may be leaving for various reasons, he said.

Coimbatore Tiny and Small Foundry Owners’ Association president A. Shivashanumugha Kumar said a group of workers from his unit left last Sunday by bus after receiving their wages on Saturday. “They are scared about the announcement of another lockdown. There is panic among them,” he said. Messages on Whatsapp have only been making things worse, he said.

A few workers are also returning home citing personal reasons, such as harvest time in their villages or family functions.

Industries that had slowed down production are experiencing a revival now because of good orders. Hence, industries are facing labour shortage, said C. Sivakumar, president of the Coimbatore and Tiruppur Districts’ Micro and Cottage Entrepreneurs’ Association.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 1:20:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fearing-another-lockdown-migrants-head-home/article34292489.ece

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