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NGO Rejoinder

Bangladesh: NGO says Primark & other brands not doing enough over garment worker repression, revealing need for mandatory due diligence

Labour Behind the Label... asked brands to:

  • require suppliers to immediately withdraw all criminal complaints they have filed related to the protests; 

  • require suppliers to reinstate the workers they have fired to the same level of seniority, with full back pay; and,

  • express concern about this wave of repression to the government...

[O]ut of these only one (Next) has so far provided... details on how they have demanded the reinstatement of dismissed workers or failing that compensation, as well as asking suppliers to withdraw any criminal charges made...

... some UK brands have so far only checked where and when they have been given specific factory names. We believe that brands... should be pro-actively and concretely assessing and investigating all their suppliers... To our knowledge none of the brands have contacted the Bangladesh government on this matter...

We are publicly tracking how connected brands are responding to the crackdown and also launched a petition after our information suggested that 427 workers from Primark suppliers in Bangladesh lost their jobs after taking part in the largely peaceful protests. 382 Primark workers are now reportedly facing false legal charges... Primark have not publicly disputed the arrests and the dismissals and are seemingly only now conducting an investigation.

This episode shines a worrying light on the reality of UK brands... activities and commitments to improving worker rights in their supply chain. Once again, it suggests that the time has now come for mandatory legislated due diligence as opposed to a reliance on brand led voluntary principles.

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