abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

11 May 2020

Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Redwan Ahmed, The Guardian

Bangladesh: Garment workers left at risk as factories open without social distancing and adequate protection measures

See all tags

“Bangladesh garment factories reopen despite coronavirus threat to work”, 11 May 2020

Workers in garment factories in Bangladesh, which have reopened despite a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, have said their lives are being put at risk as they are forced to return to work in cramped conditions where mask-wearing and physical distancing are not enforced.

Directives by the Bangladesh government stated that garment factories … would be allowed to resume operations … if they maintain physical distancing and the ban on public transportation.

… [W]orkers … said … no physical distancing measures had been enforced inside the factories. Overcrowded buses were bringing them into work…

… [T]he garment … has been hit brutally by coronavirus, already losing $3.5bn in cancelled or suspended clothing orders from brands including Topshop, Asda, Urban Outfitters, Sports Direct, New look and Peacocks in the past two months.

The financial brunt of the cancellations and withheld payments has been borne by the workers, with more than 150,000 denied their wages in March…

It was this pressure to revive the garment industry … that led to the decision to reopen the factories at the end of April…

But Sarwer Hossain, a workers’ rights leader … said the decision to reopen the factories without enforcing proper safety measures was putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of garment workers, their families and communities in grave danger.