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Protest by Khaadi workers goes viral on social media, management rejects allegations

May 30, 2017
 
KARACHI: A protest by workers of Khaadi, one of Pakistan’s leading apparel brand, has gone viral on social media as the brand’s management rubbished allegations against it by an official statement, on Tuesday.  According to details, large protests have been held by Khaadi workers in Karachi and Lahore during the past week as workers alleged...



KARACHI: A protest by workers of Khaadi, one of Pakistan's leading apparel brand, has gone viral on social media as the brand's management rubbished allegations against it by an official statement, on Tuesday. 

According to details, large protests have been held by Khaadi workers in Karachi and Lahore during the past week as workers alleged that management was responsible for unfair practices and inhumane working conditions.

One of the accusations leveled against Khaadi was that workers were not handed employment letters after being appointed by the brand. This leaves the workers with no legal protection after they are fired or terminated and the terms of their employment remain vague.

Another accusation leveled against the management is that it drove a female worker to commit suicide after she was heavily penalised for taking an unscheduled lunch break.

It is also alleged by workers against Khaadi that the company deducts Employee Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) contributions from the salaries of workers but does not provide them with the amount. In the same way, it does not deposit the Sindh Employees' Social Security Institution (SESSI) contributions with the department.

Workers have complained that they are not offered clean drinking water at the workplace and there are restrictions as to the amount of times they can use the toilet during a day. Also, complaints have surfaced that Khaadi does not pay its workers if they get injured during the course of their duty which is a requirement of law and labourers are made to work for more than 12 hours and on national holidays.

However, the staff has admitted to being compensated for working more than 12 hours a day and on national holidays.

Pakistani Twitterati raged on the micro-blogging site over what they viewed as unworthy treatment of the labourers.







Khaadi's official statement

Taking notice of the entire incident and outrage on social media, Khaadi decided to respond to the accusations with an official statement, categorically denying the reports as false and claiming that 'vested interests' have a hand in them.

"Khaadi has viewed with concern the discussion on social media in recent days emanating from certain false news that have been spread and which seek to damage our reputation. Initially, our viewpoint was not to respond to what is nothing but malicious and libelous content, but we now feel we owe it to our patrons to clarify the matter. We therefore categorically confirm that Khaadi has NOT terminated 32 of its employees.


"Another malicious story being spread and linked to the above is of the apparent attempted suicide of a young female worker. Why anyone should spread this outright lie is beyond understanding, but this just goes to show how some vested interests will stop at nothing to premeditatedly plan to try and cause reputational harm to Khaadi, and we intend to get to the bottom of this conspiracy.


"Khaadi is a responsible corporate citizen. As a brand, we have endeavoured to maintain and adhere to the highest standards in all operations-which also includes following best practices with regard to our biggest assets, our employees. Our products are sourced through an array of third party suppliers. Khaadi has always endeavoured to promote our culture and heritage, and promote a positive image of Pakistan internationally, and will continue to do so.


"Finally, we appeal to all to please do not share or spread news that is pure hearsay, or base your comments on speculative news, no matter shared by who, without fully knowing the facts yourself. We request this not only in the case of Khaadi, but as a general principle of social media engagement, as false rumours tend to escalate and can be quite damaging for others, whether it be brands or innocent people," read the statement.


 
 
 
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