The US imports readymade garments made in Jordan where factories reportedly exploit migrant apparel workers of Bangladesh.
Jordanian apparel factories export apparels for the American and Canadian consumers, according to U.S. CUSTOMS RECORDS.
Global and local trade unionists urged the Jordanian apparel factory owners to follow the code of conduct and common Buyer requirements for the apparel industry.
In Jordan, women apparel workers of Bangladesh are forced to work in adverse conditions that affected their physical and psychological health, said Bangkok based Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, in short GAATW, in a study report in August.
In Jordan, the women apparel workers faced a distinct pattern of gender and ethnicity based discriminations at their workplaces, said the GAATW study.
About the durable code of conduct, trade union leaders said that the buyers code of conduct prohibits child labour, forced labour, sexual abasement, ensure safety at workplace, labour rights and proper working hours.
When asked, trade unionist and founder of the AWAJ Foundation Nazma Akter told New Age that in Jordan migrant workers were often treated as modern day slaves.
‘I urge the governments of Bangladesh and Jordan and the employers to protect the rights of women migrant workers mostly from Bangladesh,’ she said.
She also urged the buyers to bring pressure on the employers to protect the migrant workers from discriminations.
According to Bangladesh Overseas Employment Service Limited, 31 Jordanian apparel companies recruited the migrant workers from Bangladesh, mostly females.
The companies include Atlanta Garments Manufacturing Company, Jordan, EAM Maliban Textile Pvt Ltd, Jordan, Tusker Apparel Ltd, Jordan, Rich Pine International Group Limited, Jordan, Classic Fashion App. Industry Ltd Co, Jordan, Jerash Garments Mfg Co Ltd, Jordan, Galaxy Apparel Industry Ltd Co, Jordan, Century Miracle Co Ltd, Jordan, Business Faith, Jordan, Atateks Foreign Trade, Jordan, Third Dimension, Jordan, Fashion Curve, Jordan, Mustafa and Kamal Ashraf Trading, Jordan, Garments Ltd, Jordan, Prestige and Mk Garments, Jordan, International Elegance Garments, Jordan, Aseel Universal Garments, Jordan, Vega Textiles, Jordan, Needle Craft for Clothing Industry, Jordan, Pine Tree Company for Textile Manufacturing (PSC), Jordan, Musa Company for Manufacturing, Jordan, Ready Garments, Jordan, Straight Line for Apparel Co, Jordan, Rainbow Textile LLC, Jordan, Hy Apparel, Jordan, Hi-Tech Textile, Jordan, Indo Jordan Clothing Company, Jordan, United Creation, Jordan, Victoria Apparels, Jordan, Mas Active Al Safi, Jordan, Ivory Garments, Jordan, Southern Garments Manufacturing Co Ltd LLC, Jordan, W & D, Jordan and Sidney Apparels LLC, Jordan.
US Custom Report shows that Canada based ‘Under Armour Canada Ulc,’ a manufacturer of footwear, sports and casual wears imported the garment products from Jordanian company ‘Needle Craft for Clothing Industry’.
It shows, Tusker Apparel Ltd of Jordan exported apparels to US company Talbots Imports.
Walton Pantland of Industriall Union told New Age in a message that ‘Talbots is a high end retailer with over 500 stores that sell clothes directly to consumers. I imagine they are importing from Tusker directly for their own stores.’
When asked, Garments Workers Solidarity Federation general secretary Sritee Akter told New Age that some of the Bangladeshi workers returned from Jordan and complained that they were underpaid.
According to BOESL, a total of 9,307 garment workers of Bangladesh, 9,199 of them females, migrated to Jordan from July 2018 to June 2019.
BOESL general manager for overseas employment Salim Mollah told New Age, ‘We take prompt action if our workers face problems in Jordan.’
GAATW study revealed that in Jordan, the women apparel workers faced a distinct pattern of gender and ethnicity based discriminations at their workplaces.
Bangladeshi women migrant workers frequently face harsh verbal abuse from their supervisors.
The research show that in Jordan, woman migrants routinely face sexual harassment and physical assaults by male supervisors.
All respondents reported that the Bangladeshi workers seldom get promotion compared to workers from the other counties.
At dormitories, eight to 12 workers have to share one room and one bathroom is shared by 15 workers.
Complaints about inadequate heating system and water supply were widespread.
The study recommended to the employers to follow standard working hours, break times and off days.
The buyers should review their relationship with factories, taking into account their production processes and capacities and sustainable production to ensure that they safeguard workers’ rights, it said.
The Bangladesh government should improve information dissemination about migration.
The government of Jordan was advised to allow the migrant workers enjoy the freedom of association by ratifying ILO Convention 87.
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