Bangladesh garment factories reopen, defying virus lockdown, Retail News, ET Retail

Davida Erdahl

DHAKA: Hundreds of Bangladesh garment factories defied a nationwide coronavirus lockdown to reopen on Sunday, increasing fears the industry’s susceptible and mainly female workforce could be exposed to the contagion. Major-name intercontinental brands have cancelled or held up billions of dollars in orders due to the pandemic, crippling an sector […]

DHAKA: Hundreds of Bangladesh garment factories defied a nationwide coronavirus lockdown to reopen on Sunday, increasing fears the industry’s susceptible and mainly female workforce could be exposed to the contagion.

Major-name intercontinental brands have cancelled or held up billions of dollars in orders due to the pandemic, crippling an sector that accounts for around approximately all of the South Asian country’s export earnings.

Factories shut their doors in late March but some suppliers explained they have been now getting pushed by vendors to satisfy outstanding export orders.

“We have to accept coronavirus as aspect of daily life. If we don’t open up factories, there will be financial disaster,” explained Bangladesh Knitwear Suppliers and Exporters Affiliation vice president Mohammad Hatem.

He explained his MB Knit corporation experienced reopened aspect of a manufacturing unit that will make clothing for Britain’s Primark and numerous other vendors.

Factories have been “beneath stress” from brands to fulfill export deadlines and feared the threat that billions in orders could be diverted to competing operations in nations around the world like Vietnam or China, Hatem additional.

Far more than four million men and women work in 1000’s of garment factories throughout Bangladesh, which final 12 months shipped out $35 billion of apparel to vendors this kind of as H&M, Inditex and Walmart final 12 months — second only to China.

Hundreds of those factories experienced resumed operations around the weekend in the industrial locations of Gazipur and Ashulia, just outside the house the funds Dhaka.

Some two hundred,000 employees have been likely back at work just in Ashulia, police spokeswoman Jane Alam advised AFP.

Mofazzal Hossain explained he felt compelled to return to his manufacturing unit, where he earns $a hundred and fifteen a thirty day period.

“The concern of coronavirus is there,” he advised AFP.

“But I am now far more apprehensive about shedding my career, wages and gains.”

Labour rights leaders explained they have been fearful the return to work could spark an explosion of COVID-19 conditions.

“Its impression could be worse than Rana Plaza,” explained activist Kalpona Akter, referring to the collapse of a garment manufacturing unit complicated in 2013 that killed 1,one hundred thirty employees.

Bangladesh, a country of 168 million men and women, has almost 5,five hundred confirmed COVID-19 bacterial infections and a hundred forty five deaths in accordance to the government.

Gurus say the real range is likely much bigger due to a absence of patient tests by authorities.

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