About 34 percent of garment workers in Bangladesh faced a worse financial situation in April and May to maintain their families during the Covid-19 pandemic as they were the only source of income for their families, according to a survey.
The remaining 66 percent of participants in the survey said their families had at least one additional wage earner.
Of them, about 90 percent said their households had one extra wage earner while almost nine percent said theirs had two and less than one percent had three or more additional wage earners, said the report.
South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (Sanem) and Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) jointly conducted the survey on 1,272 garment workers employed in different factories of Dhaka, Chattogram, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj, according to a Sanem press release.
When contacted, Sanem Chairman Dr Bazlul Haque Khondker, who also led the survey, said readymade garment workers faced a worse financial crisis in those two months due to the pandemic as most of them had been less-paid.
Besides, many of them had lost their jobs while some others had lost their overtime incomes, he added.
Meanwhile, workers also adopted a new coping mechanism for their survival during the pandemic, with some reducing consumption, some relocating to villages, some borrowing money and some others spending from their savings, he mentioned.
"Since June, garment workers have been getting better wages as most of the factories have resumed operations on a large scale. Workers also reported that their working hours have increased more from July," said Dr Bazlul, also an Economics professor at the University of Dhaka.
He hoped the industry would enjoy a better business in August-September.
The Sanem, in partnership with the MFO, have been conducting a series of surveys on garment workers in Bangladesh to assess the impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on their overall working and living conditions.
The surveys are being conducted as part of a project titled "Garment Worker Diaries".
The latest survey, which looked into the household economies of garment workers, will help to understand how they and their other family members are coping with the Covid-19 crisis, a blog article on the survey findings said.