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Saturday, February 24, 2024

US brands urge Bangla PM to ensure workers are paid a living wage

Major garment brands and retailers have sent a letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, seeking her intervention to ensure that the ongoing minimum wage review mechanism is concluded successfully and that workers are paid a living wage.

These 15 brands and retailers include Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, AEO Inc, Amer Sports Gap, Burton, Hugo Boss, KMD Brands, Levi Strauss, Lululemon, Patagonia, PVH Corp, Puma, SanMar and Under Armour.

“We recognize the value that Bangladesh holds as the third largest supplier of garments as well as a fast-growing supplier of footwear and travel goods to the world,” the letter said.

“Bangladesh’s commendable sustainability efforts in the garment, footwear, and travel goods sectors have garnered well-deserved recognition. We value this critical partnership,” it added

“The brands suggested that the consultations should be inclusive and include all relevant stakeholders, including a constructive dialogue with labour groups and trade unions,” media reports stated.

They also said that consultations should seek to raise the minimum wage to a level that is sufficient to cover workers basic needs and takes into account inflationary pressures.

The letter noted that the average monthly net wages for garment workers in Bangladesh has not been adjusted since 2019, while inflation has increased significantly over that time.

“We continue to recommend that the government of Bangladesh adopt an annual minimum wage review mechanism to keep up with changing macroeconomic factors,” the brands stated.

The brands strongly urged the government to ensure that there is no retaliation against participants both during and after the minimum wage review to foster and promote an atmosphere of open dialogue and inclusivity through the minimum wage negotiations.

“We acknowledge that apparel brands and retailers sourcing in Bangladesh have a role to play in enabling the above recommendations. We are committed to implementing responsible purchasing practices to fulfill that role,” they also said.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association of which these brands and retailers are members has also published this letter on their website.

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