September 15: Thousands of workers have lost their jobs in the Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor within the last six months due to Covid-19.
Out of 50,000 workers employeed in 500 different industries in the corridor, 15,000 have already been unemployed while 14,000 are kept in reserve.
Large industries that normally operated in three shifts have reduced their production to two shifts causing massive unemployment. Similarly, small and medium enterprises have cut off 30 percent of their employees due to the reduction in production.
Industrialists at the Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor inform that they are currently facing challenges of raw materials, labor management and manufacturing goods. The industries producing jute, yarn, noodles, oil, rice, milk, soap, cookies, and grains are currently operating in the corridor but most of them are producing only 60 to 70 percent of their actual capacity.
Arihant Multi-Fibres and Raghupati Jute Mill, which once used to have the highest number of workers in the corridor, used to run their industries in three shifts. However, both the industries currently are carrying their production in two shifts only.
Raj Kumar Golchha, operator of Arihant Multifibres and Raghupati Jute Mill informed that the reduction in number of shifts has left 30 percent of the workers unemployed. “We are employing workers in 15/15 days alternatively (15-day work and 15-day rest),” he informed.