These retailers must be held accountable for the orders they had placed
The ready-made garment sector has been the primary force behind the formidable economic growth that Bangladesh has experienced in recent years, and to this sector we owe a great deal.
It employs millions of people across the country, and the moment the industry is threatened, so are the livelihoods of those people who remain dependent on this industry for employment.
But, unfortunately, in the midst of the pandemic, when economies are already feeling the detrimental effects of lockdown and decreased spending, retailers across the world have exacerbated the situation at home by canceling orders worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Most recently, the cancellation has come from Global Brands Group -- sellers of Calvin Klein -- which has cancelled orders worth $4.61 million, leaving 11 suppliers out in the cold, with this being the latest amongst a series of such cancellations from retail giants such as Primark and H&M.
What is worse is that these cancellations were carried out with barely any consideration for the manufacturers who had already purchased the raw materials necessary, not given any sort of goodwill -- via email or taking advantage of loopholes in contracts.
This only serves to highlight the hypocrisy oftentimes shown by such organizations, whose so-called emphasis on workers’ rights -- like the wave of concern we saw in the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse -- only exist as long as the profit margins are not being threatened.
They even had the audacity to demand discounts on work which had already been produced, seeming to take advantage of the pandemic to maximize their profits the best they can.
These retailers must be held accountable for the orders they had placed and must be expected to carry out their end of the bargain if there is any chance of goodwill in the future.