Khaadi is probably one of the most beloved brands from Pakistan. The CEO of the company is known within the industry for his humility, hardwork and dedication toward doing the right thing so it certainly came as a surprise when we saw a trend on Twitter asking people to boycott Khaadi.
As of two days ago, the renowned Pakistani clothing brand “Khaadi” came under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
— Zehra (@zehra1akhan) May 25, 2017
Sources say that the company laid off 32 of its workers without intimation or reason which has forced them to take to the streets.
The same sources also say that the company makes its workers work 14 hour-a-day shifts, every day, and does not even give them minimum wage set under Pakistani law.
Someone outside Khaadi handed this to me. pic.twitter.com/agQM2KlH6k
— Old Man Logan (@ChefShamsher1) May 26, 2017
Furthermore, another 124 workers are allegedly at risk of losing their jobs, for demanding unionization and fair treatment.
Under the Pakistani law, the minimum wage level had been increased from Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 14,000 in 2016
The minimum wage level is set by the governing body after consultation with social partners, that include worker organizations and employer associations, or it is set unilaterally. With the Finance Ministers of all provinces, including the Federal Finance Minister, reiterating the same, it was set in accordance with The Minimum Wages Ordinance, 1961 (for ICT, Sindh and Balochistan), The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minimum Wages Act, 2013, and The Minimum Wages Ordinance 1961 as adapted in Punjab by the 2012 Amendment Act.
This goes to show that the minimum wage applied across Pakistan is in accordance with the laws and by-laws of each province, worker unions, and employer associations. And when you come to think of it, you can’t even fathom how an entire family can make ends meet in Rs. 14,000 for a whole month!
But what really gets us thinking is the fact that a homegrown brand like Khaadi, that’s conscious of its social image, and prides itself in being a worker/employee-friendly organization let something like this happen with their outsourced staff, in the day and age where things can quickly take a turn for the worse, all thanks to social media.
In the past, employees have been seen to give testimonials of how well they have been treated at Khaadi and how employees are happy with the administration.
Protests have erupted in Lahore and Karachi extending support to the workers at Khaadi
(and to our surprise, not just on social media)
There is a bigger call to action making its rounds, now that Eid is a month away, where people are either boycotting Khaadi or calling out for people to boycott them, too.
— Amara Shah (@ShahAmara_) May 27, 2017
Embarrassed & ashamed of the fact that I'm wearing #Khaadi rn while learning about the horrible working conditions at their factories.
— h (@HaadeaP) May 25, 2017
— Sehar Tariq (@sehartariq) May 27, 2017
— Intasar Ul Haq (@Intasarnatt) May 27, 2017
People in the fashion industry and friends of Shamoon Sultan, CEO of Khaadi, are standing up for him
There are multiple people, the likes of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, saying how they have always found him to be just and very kind to his employees and this could be a conspiracy against the brand by rivals.
While correspondents from Khaadi have yet to issue a statement, there is little information as to what the company’s take is on all these demands for worker unionization and better wages. We sincerely hope that matters are solved sooner than later and employees get their rightful salaries and basic necessities, and Khaadi restores our faith in them as a brand.
We have also been in touch with representatives of Khaadi, and have yet to hear back from them. We sincerely hope that Khaadi is able to prove themselves right because of their longstanding history of being one of the most beloved brands from Pakistan.
This is a developing story.