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Dhaka Tribune

Holding foreign buyers accountable

Delaying payments has been an inherent practice for buyers

Update : 06 Nov 2023, 11:46 AM

The current struggle for an acceptable living wage for our RMG workers is yet another reminder of the unfair treatment that this crucial sector continues to go through at the hands of unscrupulous foreign buyers.
The RMG industry is the veritable engine of our economy and the hardworking men and women who make it all possible absolutely deserve more in the way of pay and their right to express that, which is why it is high time that the government and RMG trade bodies started holding exporting nations and their companies accountable for not living up to their end of the deal.
RMG is chiefly dependent on exports with most of the buyers based in the US and Europe. Too many of these companies have acquired a bad habit of cancelling orders while Bangladeshi suppliers were already deep into production -- this phenomenon was at its peak during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fallout of which the industry is still reeling from -- while delaying payments has been an inherent practice for buyers ever since our nation started exporting RMG products.
Such unethical practices inevitably have a snowball effect which leads to the workers within this industry incurring the brunt of the damage. This needs to change.
However, while the industry itself has made many strides in ensuring worker safety, it still has some ways to go in terms of ensuring worker rights -- RMG workers, just like the workers from any industry, have a legitimate claim to strike unless their demands are heard. Which is why the ongoing violence has been nothing if not unfortunate.

Countries such as the US and those in Europe are far too well off to not pay our RMG sector its due, which is more than enough reason for these foreign buyers to start honouring their contracts and paying up.

 
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