Bangladesh: 600 garment workers owed wages, benefits & severance after dismissal from Dragon Sweater factory; Incl. company responses
Approximately 500-600 garment workers are owed wages, benefits, bonuses and severance pay from Dragon Sweater Limited in Bangladesh after their jobs were terminated in March 2020 after the factory suspended operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers have continued to stage months of protests after the factory owner failed to pay their wages, despite agreeing to do so in October. On 4 October, a group of protesting workers were physically attacked by individuals allegedly hired by the company, leaving 12 hospitalised.
Dragon Sweater has said it has paid workers wages for three months the factory was kept shut as per government instructions before terminating employees who were unable to return to work once operations resumed. However, the Garment Workers Trade Union Centre has denounced these claims as untrue, and states 500 to 600 workers have been terminated and have not been properly paid. The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments has also found evidence of overdue payments.
In October, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited New Yorker, Walmart and Lidl - who Dragon Sweater was reportedly producing for - to respond. Walmart and Lidl responded and said they had ended their relationships with Dragon Sweater in 2018 and 2019, respectively. New Yorker did not respond.