Sunday Times Desk ::
The collapse of the Rana factory Square not only put the international spotlight on Bangladesh, second largest producer of clothing on the planet. He also produced a serious damage to the Spanish textile brand by linking the benefits of certain companies to subhuman conditions of the workers , as reported in those days this newspaper . The pressure after the tragedy caused the minimum wage go up to 0.25 euros per hour, the lowest in the world. Now, in this little corner of Asia is growing fear that Western companies seeking markets even cheaper to produce.
Bangladesh has the lowest minimum wage in the world : $ 0.25 an hour. The more than four million seamstresses working in the country go to the factory every morning knowing they will not charge more than 49 euros per month . This little corner of Asia has been for years the second largest clothing production center in the world, second only to the Chinese giant. And yet, in Dhaka, the capital, it is growing fear that Western companies seeking cheaper markets yet to produce their garments.
The turning point came in April 2013 when the collapse of the Rana factory Square de1.138 people killed and about 2,500 injured. That disaster tabled the appalling conditions of textile workers, mostly women, and the crumbling infrastructure in sewing. Since then, the world has decided to put the eyes on this small country of 155 million inhabitants, which generated international pressure that has led to changes in the sector .
‘We want fair prices for our production costs have increased’, requires international firms Association of Manufacturers and Exporters. ‘If we can not give our money, we’ll go elsewhere’ it is the response received by local entrepreneursthat minimum salary is 77% higher than the set before the collapse of Rana Plaza. That rise has hit the profits of the owners of the factories, which are between a rock and a hard place because Western brands are reluctant to increase the purchase price to the producer .
Companies like Simco Group or Babylon Group, working in the area of Dhaka, have gone from a profit of 2% before the wage losses have grown with their orders. And they say your situation is common in the industry. “We want fair prices for our production costs have increased,” it requires international firms Atiqul Islam, president of the Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Bangladesh Garment (BGMEA, for its acronym in English).
” If you can not give us our money, we’ll go elsewhere “is the answer that local entrepreneurs say they get from some famous brands. Across the world, the Swedish H & M recognized in March to raise wages in Asia would hurt their profit margins, while other companies such as Tesco or Gap have asked that salaries be increased Asian seamstresses.
For entrepreneurs, growing costs. For seamstresses, improve their conditions, some seamstresses who now dare to speak out. More than 100 unions have been registered in the last year in China , from persecution they suffered before. Workers’ organizations are being established production centers, which now estimate that up to 30% of employees know their rights. “The factory owners are only concerned about their profits. But continually ignore the safety of seamstresses and their rights , “says El Confidencial Babul Akhter, president of the Center for Workers Solidarity Bangladesh (BCWS).