Amidst fears that workers employed in the Bangladesh readymade garment sector may have to face hardships consequent to the economic fallout – across businesses and geographical locations – in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) has called upon retailers and brands to urgently take steps to minimise the impact of Coronavirus on garment workers’ health and livelihoods.
“Brands must take responsibility for workers throughout their supply chains and ensure that the garment workers who have made their profits possible do not carry the industry’s financial burden during this pandemic,” underlined the CCC in a press communiqué adding, “Due to COVID-19, many factories in garment-producing countries are closing because of a shortage of raw materials from China. As brands continue to reduce orders due to declining consumer demand and mandatory closure of shops, more factories will be forced to close.”
It may be mentioned here that there were reports that many global retailers were reducing their existing work orders in Bangladesh while also deferring shipments, thereby creating business uncertainty for the apparel exporters.
The CCC further added that as per media reports and direct information gathered through its network, factories are closing or at risk of closure because of shortages of raw materials, reduced orders and public health concerns in a range of countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Albania and Central American countries.
CCC is garment industry’s largest alliance of labour unions and non-governmental organisations, which focuses on improving working conditions in the garment and sportswear industries.