The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has requested the German government to take initiative so that its buyers would receive shipment of ready garments from Bangladesh as the existence of the industry and the vast number of workers employed in it depended on it.
BGMEA president Rubana Huq recently made the request in a letter to German federal minister of economic cooperation Gerd Muller as global buyers kept cancelling or suspending shipments of ready products due to the coronavirus outbreak.
She requested the German minister to urge the country’s brands to take in all their ordered goods and to allow shipments and production to continue till July at least.
‘Without this support, we will have a disastrous impact on our labour force and our businesses,’ Rubana said in her letter.
In the face of cancellation, it is only evident that Bangladeshi manufacturers will fail to pay their workers which will create serious social unrest, she said.
‘I can only urge you to kindly immediately address all your brands sourcing from Bangladesh to not cancel or hold any shipment up,’ she urged the German minister.
‘While the businesses in Germany receive government support and address their losses, at our end we have an existential problem as we have to pay our workers,’ the BGMEA president said.
Earlier, the BGMEA president wrote to more than 40 brands requesting them not to cancel work orders until July, taking the 4.1 million workers whose livelihoods were at stake and the upcoming two religious festivals into account.
According to data available from the BGMEA, a total of 564 factories informed the trade body till Monday about order cancellations or shipment suspension notices they had received from buyers for export orders worth $1.98 billion due to the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
The BGMEA president in a video message on Monday assured that all garment workers would get their monthly wages on time amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Do not worry, have faith. All the workers would be paid on time as the
government has assured to provide all-out support to the country’s readymade garment sector, Rubana said.
‘It is not important whether any factory is closed. But what is most important is whether workers will get their wages. They (workers) will receive their wages on time,’ she said.
Rubana urged the BGMEA members to be patient and said that they were waiting for the prime minister to deliver her speech on March 25 and the instructions the PM would give then.
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