The Labour Crisis

  • Client Khaadi
  • Category Crisis Counselling and Management


  1. In May 2017, Khaadi faced a sudden crisis when 32 contractual workers were laid off by its contract manufacturing vendor, TexMark.
  2. Within hours, the news went viral on social media platforms, and #boycottkhaadi started trending.
  3. The initial story of 32 workers being laid off soon escalated into a much bigger negative story about alleged mistreatment & exploitation of workers.
  4. Khaadi’s strong and so far impeccable reputation built over 18 long years became at risk of being irreparably damaged within a few days.
  5. The laid off workers held protests outside the Press Club and the story got repeated in the print media too.
  6. Khaadi went on the defensive, not talking to the media.
  7. Walnut PR, then Khaadi’s PR agency had got paid social media activists to post pro-Khaadi posts, but without really addressing the allegations directly. This created further uproar on social media, as others quickly pointed out that these posts were by paid supporters.
  8. APR was then called in to provide crisis counseling and developing crisis communication.

APR’s crisis counseling

  1. Immediately ascertain all the facts accurately
  2. Develop credible responses for each allegation for internal discussion first
  3. Seek legal opinion
  4. Consider likely further scenarios if crisis escalates
  5. Develop messaging for external audiences to be used proactively or reactively as deemed appropriate
  6. Develop messaging for internal audiences to avoid confusion, demotivation and speculative news leaks from internal people
  7. Commence close monitoring of mass media and social media
  8. 8.Consider all options for quick crisis resolution in line with advice of legal

APR’s immediate crisis management work

  1. Preparing a holding Statement for posting on its social media platforms, and for sharing reactively with the mass media.
  2. A comprehensive Q&A document listed likely questions that could be asked by the media or by the public, and the answers to be given to these.
  3. A list of ‘friendly’ journalists and social media activists and influencers was drawn up, who could be called upon for support as needed, to do ‘independent’ reporting of the issue.
  4. APR also prepared a statement to be sent out as internal communication to all employees, by the CEO.
  5. Khaadi’s clarification got published in, Daily Pakistan online, and ARYNEWS online, at that point the 3 most active online platforms covering the story. These were then picked up by friendly social media influencers and shared more widely.
  6. Talking Points were developed for Khaadi team conducting negotiations with the Sindh Labour Unions Federation, which had in meantime taken up the lead supporter role for the dismissed employees.