Aug 20 , 2022
A workers' call centre has been opened in Hawassa Industrial Park as part of efforts to curb abuse in the workplace. The centre appears as uncertainty looms over the Park's 35,000 employees, over three-quarters of whom are women, in light of downsizing by companies leasing sheds there. Over the past few months, several of the Park's tenants have laid off over a thousand employees due to what their management says is a business slowdown. Late last year, Philips-Van Heusen Corp (PVH), an international apparel company that pioneered Hawassa Industrial Park, announced the termination of operations in Ethiopia. It had strong commercial relationships with 15 of the 20 companies leasing space in the Park. The announcement coincided with President Joe Biden's decision to debar Ethiopia from the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA). The trade deal had allowed eligible countries to export goods duty and quota-free to the American market. The debarment came as a blow to the textile firms in the Park.