Titling ‘Primark probe suspends several Bangladesh factories’ news in reference to ‘International Labor Rights Forum’ recently published by an international media.
The news mentioned that Primark has confirmed it is suspending sourcing with several of its suppliers’ factories in Bangladesh following workers’ contracts terminated unfairly.
The dismissal of jobs happened due to workers strikes at the end of last year over the new minimum wage of 8,000Tk (US$95) per month. This news, which has a negative impact on the Bangladeshi RMG sector, is not correct.
According to BGMEA, there are 94 factories where Primark makes its garment that amounting one billion USD per year. Of them, only four factories were alleged those terminated workers due to the strike for minimum wages.
People involved with the process confirmed that Primark has investigated three out of four alleged supplying units and finally they have suspended one.
Rubana Huq, Managing Director of Mohammadi Group and the President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said, “Primark has already investigated and has concluded their investigation. The number of factories very limited. Not even newsworthy.”
“All you can possibly write is that the impact is not huge. Primark has many vendors in Bangladesh. Reported deviations are not huge at all. Deviations should not determine a brand’s sourcing pattern or trend,” Huq added.
In a separate reaction, she also mentioned, “We have formed a joint committee with IBC. And in the first meeting with them, after they submitted a list of 12000 workers to us, we immediately informed them that the list was incomplete as neither did it have the names of the worker’s factory wise nor did it have their ID numbers. So, we are waiting for their response.”
“If the overall goal is to correct unfortunate practices, we need to be specific and remediate, and not subject the industry to the bias of over generalization. I sincerely believe that these kinds of accusations hold the industry back and create a massive backlash that ultimately affects the fate of the workers,” She added.
Rubana Huq also invites International Labor Rights Forum ILRF to collaborate with BGMEA to improve the overall situation.
“I invite ILRF to kindly work with us to identify bad practices and incentivize good ones in the industry. Progress must be dealt with maturity, and remediation must be handled in response to constructive criticism.”
“We have formed a joint committee with IBC, and they have not given us a list with names of the workers and their ID numbers. Till that comes in, we will not be able to move forward with it,” she concluded.