BGMEA responds to guardian report

The Guardian published a report titled ‘The rise and rise of Bangladesh – but is life getting any better?' on October 9 about the RMG sector. The following is our response.

Owners should have a chance to get their say in defence of the allegations. While trade unions and activists are contacted, BGMEA was not. We might then have clarified about our own measures and policies that enforce compliance including maternity leave in particular.

The cost of living especially in Dhaka is astronomical and even more so for the poor. That is not because of garment factories but flawed policies. Slum dwellers pay far more than the affluent sections, per square feet of dwelling, per unit of electricity and per unit of water. Surely that cannot be attributed to the RMG sector (Chittagong is the same).

The contributor in this case is a freelancer and quotes such people like this Rumi, an activist and politician, whose organisation or platform is not mentioned.

The story does not offer any statistics or surveys that could truly represent the extent of deprivation for the workers — for instance, 60 percent women reported termination when they asked for maternity benefits. Without such statistics, one or two person’s experience cannot be taken as the standard for the entire industry with 5000 factories 4.5 million workers.