In the course of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic unrest, buyers from around the world are cancelling their orders, which has put the local manufacturers in trouble.
The data sourced from BGMEA states that around 729 factories are experiencing work orders’ cancellation or hold worth more than US $ 1.96 billion until Monday. This number is continuously increasing.
In last 4 days, cancelled or held orders are worth US $ 1.5 billion while uncertainty looms large regarding the shipments of existing production, which in return affects more than 1.2 million workers.
As the virus wreaks havoc, the BGMEA President Dr. Rubana Huq requests Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development to encourage buyers in Germany to receive the apparel items already produced in Bangladesh and allow the suppliers to continue production until July this year.
Taking into account the 4.0 million workers and upcoming religious festivals of Eid, she also wrote to more than 40 brands urging them not to cancel work orders until July.
Without this support, Bangladesh’s garment industry will have to face adverse consequences, including the labour forces and the businesses.
While the businesses and incurred losses in Germany receive support from their government, Bangladesh’s apparel industry has an altogether different manufacturing reality with existential crisis as apparel manufacturers have to pay their workers.
Brands have been assured that the buyers can pay the suppliers 90 days later provided the buyers need to accept the ordered goods.
If the German buyers stop sourcing from Bangladesh and/or cancel their orders, local manufacturers would fail to pay workers that might create serious social unrest, which is a major concern for BGMEA President.
Another subsequent consequence would be a major shutdown of all the factories – irrespective of their sizes!
She expressed “This unfortunate occurrence is a disaster that neither humanity nor commerce can afford.”
As the government extends support to the country’s Readymade Garment sector, she affirms that the workers will get their timely wages, without any error.