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Clothing Brand Afsaneh Fires 50 Workers Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

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Clothing brand Afsaneh allegedly fired around its 50 workers on May 6, violating the government’s clear directions not to lay-off employees during the national coronavirus crisis. Labour rights activists are condemning the ‘non-empathetic’ beahviour of the apparel brand using the hashtag #BoycottAfsaneh.

A former employee of Afsaneh, on the condition of anonymity, told Naya Daur that earlier this month, the clothing brand laid-off around 50 workers, who were given one month termination letters on April 7 till May 6. The ex-employee said that the company called all the workers in mid-March and directed them to stay at home due to the lockdown imposed by the government to counter the spread of deadly coronavirus but later they were fired without getting their salaries of April and other pending dues.

“It’s not the first time that Afsaneh has ill-treated its employees. Even before the coronavirus crisis, our salaries were delayed. The models and vendors were not payed on time either,” she said, adding that some workers left last year but their gratuity funds and annual leave encashments are still pending.

Activist Leena Ghani posted a video of one of the fired workers on Twitter, wherein he shared how he along with other employees were laid-off. He appealed to the government to ensure justice in these difficult times when he can’t even get a new job.

The labour rights and social media activists have demanded the people to boycott Afsaneh. “Hearing disturbing news of Afsaneh firing workers right before Eid. The way in which industrialists have treated employees during Ramzan reveals utter lack of humanity of our elites. We must stand with the fired workers,” said activist Ammar Ali Jan.

Another political activist and academic Tooba Syed took to Twitter to condemn the ‘shameful’ act of the apparel brand. She said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, thousands of workers have been laid off. This time Afsaneh laid off more than 50 workers right before Eid, after making them wait for the pay cheques they never got! Shameful.”

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