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COVID erodes income of a third of Bangla apparel workers

Oct '20
Pic: Awaj Foundation
Pic: Awaj Foundation
Nearly a third of Bangladeshi garment workers suffered loss of earnings since the lockdown in late March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study by Capacity Building Service Group (CBSG) for Awaj Foundation under Girl's Advocacy Alliance (GAA) project supported by Plan International Bangladesh. Income loss forced 27 per cent of the workers to reduce spending on food and education, it found.

More than half of them fell into debt traps to meet family needs, it revealed.

The findings of the study, 'Covid-19 and Women Empowerment: A Rapid Analysis of the Bangladesh Ready-made Garment Sector', were recently announced during a webinar hosted by Awaj Foundation.

About 32 per cent of the respondents reported income loss by 53 per cent between March and June than the same period last year, the Foundation said in a press release. This was due to a lower number of orders from global buyers, causing a drastic cut in overtime which is the main source of earnings for workers after basic pay.

For loss of earnings, only 10 per cent of these workers received support from either the government or trade unions or local philanthropists.

Besides, 98 per cent of the workers had to spend more on health safety issues to avoid contracting coronavirus and entering factory premises.

Many factories withdrew food and transportation as part of shrinking cost of business that resulted in the extra burden of cost on workers, according to CBSG.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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