Corporate Social Responsibility – the obligation of businesses which many in Pakistan do not follow. Having this said, every other day we come across stories highlighting the struggles of underpaid laborers. However, recently we saw a remarkable change in their approach. Khaadi’s workers took it to the roads to register the protest of being underpaid.
It all started when protestors shed light on how Khaadi fired 32 employees right before Ramzan. The cause of the sacking, as said by the protestors, was the demand of fair wages.
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) May 25, 2017
As said by the labors, they were paid just Rs. 14,000 a month after doing all the hard work which made the brand what it is today. The initial protest took place on the M.M.Alam Road, Lahore, outside Khaadi’s flagship store.
Someone outside Khaadi handed this to me. pic.twitter.com/agQM2KlH6k
— Old Man Logan (@ChefShamsher1) May 26, 2017
In addition to this scenario, the protestors shared how they were treated like “slaves” and were fired just because they demanded fair wages.
— Zehra (@zehra1akhan) May 27, 2017
Creating an uproar, perplexed Khaadi customers were eager to hear a clarification from the brand. Responding to their request, Khaadi released an official statement:
“We categorically confirm that Khaadi has NOT terminated 32 of its employees. Another malicious story being spread and linked to the above is the apparently 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.”
However, the statement failed to mellow down the massive social media uproar. #IStandWithKhaadi – a campaign challenging the allegations emerged on Twitter, which also backfired because of the apparent lack of substantial evidence.
Enraged Citizens Took To Twitter And Shared Their Unadulterated Thoughts
So Khaadi paid people to support Khaadi over not paying people which wouldn’t have been necessary if they had paid people. ???
— Rana (@RTAluvzAfridi) May 30, 2017
A Number of People Said That Khaadi Had Run A Paid Campaign On Twitter To Clear Their Name
— MFI(monaimran) (@ImranMona) May 29, 2017
Why is this happening? Why is a brand as big as Khaadi resorting to paying fake accounts to trend their shit hashtag that is morally fucked?
— Sara Muzzammil (@SaraMuzzammil) May 29, 2017
10 people gather somewhere and 2 idiots record them and call it a revolution! Grow up. #ISUPPORTKHAADI
— – H. (@PeculiarHaya) May 29, 2017
And It Backfired Badly
Does anyone know if Khaadi is giving out dresses from their Eid collection for trending #IStandwithKhaadi or whatever the trend is?
— . (@C_akke) May 29, 2017
Given the situation, it would be wise on the part of Khaadi to address the problem internally because the blame-game doesn’t last that long.