Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / The dark underbelly of Bangladeshi factories
The dark underbelly of Bangladeshi factories
18
Dec '15
C: International Labor Rights Forum
C: International Labor Rights Forum
Despite the industrial reforms launched in Bangladesh focusing on safety in the country's garment factories, workers have painted a grim picture of the ground reality where their view remain largely ignored.

In a damning report, the Washington-based International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF) says the next phase of reforms must instill the lessons that respect for workers is as important to safety as are fire exits, that workers' perspectives on safety are as important as the findings of building engineers. Without it workers' lives and health will continue to be in jeopardy.

Between October 2014 and January 2015, the ILRF interviewed more than 70 workers with the assistance of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. ILRF says that while it wanted to talk with the workers about fire, electrical, and structural safety issues, the workers wanted to talk about more than the necessary technical repairs and renovations in their factories.

According to ILRF, the workers interviewed described a chilling web of social relations of intimidation and violence that spans factories and apparel companies, workers' communities, government agencies, law enforcement, and even their families. The effect of this web is that workers are silenced. They emphasized that until it is broken they cannot be safe. In the words of one worker, “We say nothing. They say everything. Then how would we say that it's safe?”

“The workers explain that safety is never just a thing that is given them, but a process in which they are actively and vocally engaged. They tell us “how to be safe,” a reciprocal process where factory owners and the government listen to workers and workers to them. Safety, the workers say, is fundamentally about mutual respect for their shared humanity and consideration for their different needs. This insight is at the core of these workers' understanding of safety,” ILRF said in a report.

Safety, as a process of reciprocity and mutual respect, is something the workers interviewed rarely experienced. Instead they reported production targets and workloads so high that managers prevented them from taking necessary restroom breaks, drinking water, leaving the factory at a reasonable hour, or getting leaves from work to attend to their own or their family members' medical emergencies. Workers told ILRD about wages so low they are effectively trapped in abusive conditions, and about sexual harassment and abuse for which the victims are blamed. Instead of a safe working environment, the workers described to ILRF, with some notable exceptions, a state of abject powerlessness. This is the opposite of safety, from workers' point of view.


Must ReadView All

India's garment exports up 24.93% in September 2017

Textiles | On 16th Oct 2017

India's garment exports up 24.93% in September 2017

The exports of readymade garments from India in September 2017 was...

Low GST rate on zari will generate jobs for women: SRTEPC

Textiles | On 16th Oct 2017

Low GST rate on zari will generate jobs for women: SRTEPC

There will be a rise in the employment for women with the slash in...

Consumers may suffer if no assurance to EU workers in UK

Apparel/Garments | On 16th Oct 2017

Consumers may suffer if no assurance to EU workers in UK

Consumers may suffer if the British Government does not quickly offer ...

Interviews View All

Deepak Jain
Baggout

We are using Facebook and Instagram to promote ourselves

Awen Delaval
Samatoa

'Natural fibres are appreciated for traditional authenticity'

Jim Desai
Blaiva Fabricaa

Fashion industry likely to remain labour-intensive in coming years

Abhishek Pachauri

Reckon Industries adapts latest systems for manufacturing from designing...

Suresh P Bagrecha

Komal Texfab, founded in 1981, is into manufacturing of knitted fabrics,...

Vikas Banduke

Softech Controls Private Limited (SCPL) is a part of the Cotmac Group, an...

Iago Castro Asensio
RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio, International Business Manager of RCfil...

Marcel Alberts
Eurofibers

Coating at a fibre level is a practice not usually seen in the...

Steve Cole
Xerium Technologies

Steve Cole of Xerium Technologies discusses the industry. Xerium is the...

Rupa Sood and Sharan Apparao
Nayaab

Nayaab, an exhibition meant to celebrate Indian weaves, is in its second...

Vaanee Bhatia
Gritstones Clothing

<div>Delhi-based Gritstones Clothing offers quality and exemplary style...

Yash P. Kotak
Bombay Hemp Company

One of the directors of Bombay Hemp Company, Yash P. Kotak, speaks to...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

October 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
76.9%
No
13.8%
Skip
9.2%

Total Votes: 65

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
61.5%
No
27.7%
Skip
10.8%

Total Votes: 65

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
84.6%
No
10.8%
Skip
4.6%

Total Votes: 65

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
73.8%
No
12.3%
Skip
13.8%

Total Votes: 65


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search