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Indian Garment Workers Forced to Resign Amidst Pandemic

Garment factory worker. Shutterstock

More than half and as many as 62 percent of garment sector workers in Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) were forced to resign during 2020 lockdowns caused by the pandemic, according to a report released by the Garment and Textile Workers’ Union (GATWU) and the Alternative Law Forum (ALF) in India.

The report, “Forced Resignations, Stealthy Closures”, is based on interviews with 89 workers from 25 factories. At 17 of the 25 factories surveyed, workers reported that they had been asked to resign by company management due to economic pressures wrought by the pandemic.

Many reported they were threatened with a delay or cancellation of their benefits if they did not acquiesce to the requests to resign.

There is “clear evidence of a coercive situation created by factory managements” the report reads in part. It also said that implicated factory management teams were contacted, but did not reply to requests for comment.

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