Khaadi – a very well known brand to all Pakistanis. It has achieved the status of being an international brand as it has launched stores in Dubai and ships online to the U.K etc.
It is Khaadi, the one brand which is quoted in the books of Fashion schools, and every fashion student dreams they should be a part of it. This is the same brand that has different sections:
- Khaadi Pret
It was reported last week that Khaadi on M.M Alam Road, Lahore, has fired 32 workers right before Ramadan, solely because these workers demanded a slightly higher wage for their work. Several protests were carried out against this act. Firing workers is one thing, but firing them right when Ramadan is ahead of us sounded almost heartless to us. Hence, people in Lahore and Karachi started to come out on streets and they started to protest against Khaadi, and threatened to Boycott Khaadi until the reinstatement of these 32 workers.
After thorough communication with the workers of this brand, it was known to the public that there are hundreds of employees working for Khaadi, and most salespeople work for 12 hours a day, however, they are paid hardly Rs. 14,000 a month! It hardly really even made sense to us how a family could survive an entire month on such less money.
OPEN PROTESTS AGAINST KHAADI:
Protests were carried out because it was believed low wages should not be acceptable as a pay to those who hold degrees or are educated enough to be working for a clothing brand which makes a great profit especially around the time of Eid. It’s high time that the Government takes notice and regulates the wages of these workers as well because it is them who are pushed to their limits through the day. Even brands such as H&M and ZARA pay their workers an average of 12$ per hour.
This act of Khaadi and the boycott was taking over social media, especially Twitter where everyone used their freedom of speech and openly criticized Khaadi for their actions.
KHAADI FINALLY SPEAKS UP:
However, an official statement from the Khaadi’s PR team denies such allegations.
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.
You can quote it by the official spokesperson of Khaadi or the PR team of Khaadi.
REACTION OF THE WORKERS:
The workers straight up rejected the statement which was presented by Khaadi. They mentioned that the employees were not even given clean water to drink, were not allowed enough toilet breaks, and if someone was injured during work he was not paid any heed to. A copy of an appointment letter is not provided to these workers, due to which they were deprived of their rights by law as they were not official employees at the company.
Moreover, Nasir Mansoor, the deputy general at National Trade Union Federation and a very prominent figure in labour rights circles has also negated whatever Khaadi has said.
He explained how the workers of Khaadi already feared that they may be dismissed from employment, due to which they approached the National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC). However, the counsel representing Khaadi, in this case, gave his statement that the workers would not be dismissed, due to which the case was dropped. However, on May 22 when these employees reached the factory, they were not allowed to enter.
Mansoor questions why Khaadi gave an argument that it would not dismiss its workers when legally they were not Khaadi’s “employees” at all.
Through all these acts, no one wishes to defame Khaadi or any other brand at all. However, the time has come when justice is required to be served to employees who work in such inhumane conditions, are not treated respectfully, yet do not make enough money out of their pay. We wait for further news and answers from Khaadi, and we will update you accordingly.