The Russian footwear group Ralf Ringer is seeking 200 employees to replace labor migrants, who had to leave Russia because jobless during the Covid-19-related lockdown.

The company manufactures 2 million pairs per year at four factories in Vladimir, Zarajsk, Moscow, and Taldom. Ralf Ringer also runs a retail network of 180 doors in Russia.

In 2019, the company acquired the Taldom factory, which was on the verge of bankruptcy. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, Ralf Ringer had disclosed plans to boost production at the site and double its staff.

The staff shortage is reportedly common for the local footwear industry. According to the Russian interior ministry, the country hosts several millions of labor migrants from Central Asia, including Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. They are primarily employed in the construction business and shoe factories. According to the Federal Customs Service, 2.4 million labor migrants came to Russia in the first half of 2020. But nearly 75 percent of them lost their income during the pandemic and most of them returned home.