Bangladeshi readymade garment (RMG) workers have been paid around $500 million less than their regular average wages during the three months at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report.
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) report mentioned that the RMG workers in South and Southeast Asia have received 38 percent less than their regular average income during this period.
Rubana Huq, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), in this regard told The Business Standard, "It is absolutely blasphemous to publish such a report when the ultimate responsibility was on the buyers."
"So, instead of doing a report based on manufacturing countries, the report should have been based on the sourcing areas. That would be a credible report," she added.
The BGMEA president said, "Bangladesh paid $534 million when the workers did not work in April whereas other countries followed no work no pay policy."
The report titled "Un(der)paid in the Pandemic" said nonpayment of wages to garment workers during the months of March, April and May resulted from order cancellations by apparel brands, unpaid leave, and state-sanctioned wage cuts during the Covid-19 crisis.
The report also mentioned that, in some regions in India, this number rises above 50 percent.
According to report, wages lost by garment workers worldwide, excluding China, for the months of March, April, and May would amount to between $3.19 and 5.79 billion.
David Hachfeld of Public Eye/ Clean Clothes Campaign, Switzerland, said, "We have, however, no reason to believe the situation is significantly better in low-wage production hotspots that we did not research. Even though our estimates stay on the conservative side, they are quite shocking."
The CCC calls on apparel brands, retailers, and e-tailers to take responsibility to ensure that all workers in their supply chains receive the full wages they are owed in accordance with labour law and/or international standards by publicly committing to a wage assurance.