My name is Francis X. born and raised in the district of Wakiso, Uganda. I am currently living and working in South Korea.

Six years ago, I traveled to South Korea in search of greener pastures, to make ends meet. It’s been quite a great experience living and working with the Korean people amidst a very good political, security, and above all, a healthy atmosphere until the recent tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit almost all the sectors of the economy causing disruption in the usual business. I have worked in the manufacturing sector and have attained very good experience.

As an immigrant and employee in the manufacturing sector, COVID-19 has negatively affected the sector in several ways.

Most factories have had to shut down due to a shortage of staff to run the machines. Factories have had to lay off workers in order to decongest and ensure social distancing. Immigrants have become the first targets of layoffs at workplaces which have left so many jobless struggling to earn a living through the bad days of the pandemic. Most employees in this sector have been locked up in factories to minimize in and out movement.

COVID-19 has changed working norms. In the factories, we are adjusting to new norms such as wearing face masks, which are now compulsory, and routine temperature checkups at different intervals just to mention but a few. In some factories, workers have been asked to stay within the company premises without having to return to their homes, something that deprives them of freedom of movement.

Generally, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down business in the manufacturing sector. Temporary kicking out both manufacturers and employees is a very bad signal.