Countries’ largest textile manufacturing hub Bengaluru, employing about 2.5 lakh workers had a huge unfavourable impact of coronavirus on apparel and textile industry. Many labour-intensive clothing units are either shutting down their operations or laying off employees. The largest apparel manufacturer and exporter Gokaldas exports had laid off 1200 workers. According to the workers Union, the big four clothing manufacturing units in Bengaluru have shut their operations and laid off about half of their workforce.

On Saturday, about 1,200 workers of a factory unit in Srirangapatna affiliated to the largest apparel manufacturer and exporter, Gokaldas Exports, were laid off. The company has told the workers that they would be given a portion of the salary for the next two weeks. The garment workers’ union is predicting the closure of the factory eventually. At least four clothing manufacturing units in Bengaluru, of Garden City Fashion, Sonal Garments, Export Industries and Punith Creations, have shut their operations.

Garment factories in Karnataka employ more than 4 lakh workers, mostly women, and the uncertainty and layoffs are likely to affect thousands of families who are dependent on the industry for livelihood. There are challenges primarily driven by end-user demand. Most of the stores abroad are just about reopening and it is very early to see how the demand will pick up. There is an apprehension that the economic crisis may push customers to be conservative. There could be more demand for low-value garments than high-value clothes,” said the Chief Executive Officer of a top cloth manufacturing company, who did not wish to be named.