Infrastructure and construction companies in Gujarat could face manpower shortage in the short-term after thousands of migrant labourers left the state fearing retaliatory attacks.
The attacks come after a toddler was allegedly raped by a Bihari migrant last week. Thousands of workers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal are said to have left the state in haste. There were unconfirmed reports of attacks on migrants in cities like Ahmedabad.
The impact will be in the form of production losses since companies will have to rely on existing workers to complete the work. Depending on the type of industry, absence of labour leads to production loss of 300-400 units of any product on a single day.
"Several workers migrated to Gujarat because such talent was either unavailable locally, or the locals were uninterested in taking up these positions. Hopefully, this situation will ease away quickly," said Rituparna Chakraborty, senior vice president of TeamLease Services.
A quick resolution will be the key as this is the festive season, and production will be in full swing across the manufacturing sector. Human resource officials said that companies will have to quickly look for replacements while trying to dissuade other workers from leaving the state.
Typically, the core shop-floor jobs are done by migrant workers from other states, predominantly from north India. In sectors like construction, sudden absence of workers would mean a delay in projects that would impact all other allied sectors.
Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR Services said that the sense of panic spread across workers may have led to a large number of workers rushing out. "While this is a temporary issue, since production is at its peak in October companies will face an impact," he added.
Mishra said that companies will also try to assuage concerns of the migrant workers to ensure that the remaining workers do not leave. He said that usually the supervisors at the large manufacturing companies are from the same region as the workers, so that they are comfortable at the shopfloor.
Human resource officials also told Moneycontrol
that the companies are currently engaging with the state government and police forces to ensure safety of the workers at their factories and manufacturing facilities. Also, measures are being taken to contact those who have left for their native places and convince them to come back.