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Poor wages compel garment workers to skip meals, report

by Apparel Resources News-Desk

04-March-2019  |  2 mins read

Bangladesh Garment Workers
Image Courtesy: dhakatribune.com

The plight of thousands of workers employed in Bangladesh readymade garment sector was brought to the fore by a recent report, which underlined that many garment workers have to skip meals due to poor wages.

As per a study conducted by Oxfam, Australia, most of the readymade garment workers in Bangladesh cannot afford three full meals per day and regularly skip meals due to poor wages.

“Nine out of 10 workers interviewed in Bangladesh cannot afford enough food for themselves and their families, forcing them to regularly skip meals and eat inadequately, or go into debt,” the research report titled ‘Made in poverty: The true price of fashion’ conducted jointly by Oxfam, Australia, Bangladesh Institute for Labour Studies and Institute for Workers and Trade Unions in Vietnam, maintained.

The research reportedly interviewed more than 470 workers across Bangladesh and Vietnam (the interviewees were part of Australian clothing supply chains at the time of interview), employed in garment factories that supplied at least one iconic Australian clothing brand.

Further as per the research report, in Bangladesh, 91 per cent of the garment workers reportedly alleged that their income was not enough to feed themselves and their family for the entire month and they survived only on pulses, rice and potatoes — and sometimes eating a sickly mix of old, fermented rice with chilli in order to feel fuller throughout the day.

The study also reportedly revealed that workers faced unjust and intolerable struggles due to poor wages while the Australian fashion industry was getting bigger.

“Since 2015, returns to the shareholders of the five major clothing companies in Australia have increased by 81 per cent per year on an average… Brands like Kmart and Cotton On have increased their annual revenue intake by more than US $ 1 billion each since 2014. These companies have the power and the resources to help change this unfair system,” the report said.