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H&M and Primark continue to pay textile workers in Bangladesh

H&M and Primark continue to pay textile workers in Bangladesh
Sk Hasan Ali / Shutterstock.com

Ready-to-wear giants Primark and H&M promise continue to pay textile workers in Bangladesh, even though they are cancelling their orders because of the coronavirus crisis. They do so to support the badly affected country.

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Production halts

Textile workers for garment manufacturers in low-wage countries are likely to suffer from the Covid-19 crisis: in Bangladesh, no less than six billion euros in export earnings and several million jobs in the textile industry could be lost due to massive cancellations of orders from major retailers and brands.

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As early as the end of March, Primark began cancelling dozens of orders and had advised suppliers in South-East Asia to cease production. H&M, Mango and Zara, among others, also suspended their orders, despite the fact that some were already in production. C&A has even indicated that it no longer intends to pay for orders that have already been produced.

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Extremely vulnerable

Following criticism from Human Rights Watch and other organisations, Primark and H&M have responded by ensuring that workers affected by the cancellations will continue to be paid. H&M, the main recipient of garments made in Bangladesh, told RetailGazette it is in discussions with suppliers to find a solution. The Swedsh fashion giant says it is aware of the extremely vulnerable situation of suppliers and employees.

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Nevertheless, more than two million workers in the country have already been affected by factory closures due to the Covid-19 crisis. According to local trade union officials, most employees have been temporarily laid off or given paid leave.

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