NEW YORK — An Indian-American textile manufacturer in the New York City area has announced it is leaving the United States to build a plant in China.
The decision to leave is a blow to thousands of workers who have been struggling for better wages in the United State, said Dinesh Bhadrakumar, president and chief executive of Bhojpur-based Sohni Textiles.
“It’s a sad day for our industry here in New York,” Bhadrekumar said.
Bhadrekumarian said the company plans to build the $2.2 billion plant in the northern city of Hyderabad.
While the company does not currently have any plans to move its operations to China, it has already invested heavily in the city of about 6 million people.
Bhojanpur has become a hub for outsourcing of textile jobs, and its residents have become accustomed to the high-cost of living and lack of public transportation, said Dharmesh Pradhan, director of the Center for Urban Research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“It’s really difficult to find a good-paying job in a city like this,” Pradhans said.
Bhaddrakumar said he hopes the textile manufacturing industry can be a gateway for immigrants who are looking for work in the U.S. to return.
Indian-American businesses in New Jersey have been hard hit by a lack of wage increases, with companies such as Pedders & Tractor and Rana Manufacturing losing millions of dollars a year due to lower wages.
And the industry is facing pressure from the federal government, which is trying to crack down on labor abuses.
But for Bhadrahmaran, leaving the U: “It doesn’t matter what happens to us.
We’re going to get better wages.”