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Responsibility starts with the buyers

  • Published at 07:04 pm September 17th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:13 pm September 17th, 2017
Responsibility starts with the buyers
Our RMG sector is the backbone of our economy. And in a country where the economy is heavily reliant on one particular sector, it is necessary for a series of checks and balances in ensuring that our services and relatively cheap labour are not being taken advantage of by any third parties. Recent price cuts set by some global buyers of our RMG products are making survival for many manufacturers in Bangladesh increasingly difficult, and is starkly indicative of the skewed buyer-seller relationship we have in the sector. This is unfair to our industry and the millions of workers who comprise it. The buyers cannot have it both ways. They cannot demand a state-of-the-art garment industry and at the same time insist on squeezing the industry for every penny they can save. Responsibility for Bangladeshi workers is equally the concern of the buyers as it is for their employers. Which is why it needs to come to note that when global buyers cut prices of clothing products, it is ultimately the workers who bear the brunt. A good example would be our accessories industry, which has been the most recent victim of such price drops. Not only will placing measures to check such predatory pricing by the buyers help us secure the position of the industry, it is also a necessity if we want to boost our export growth. In this case, long-term relationships between buyers and industry leaders need to be nurtured, as well as the understanding that if the buyers also have a responsibility towards workers (and they do) then constantly seeking to cut prices is unhelpful.