Supply Chain Matters provides an update on ongoing developments concerning global apparel supply chains.
Business media is reporting that more than 100 Bangladeshi garment factories were forced to suspend operations on Monday of this week as thousands of garment workers protested and demanded a $100 a month minimum wage. This is a spillover to labor protests held over the weekend. Workers took to the streets blocking major roads and attacking some vehicles in the Gazipur and Savar industrial zones, on the outskirts of the capital.
Readers will recall that as a result of the major fires and labor abuses that have come to light concerning Bangladesh, both the government and industry consortiums have become motivated to work toward increasing the minimum wage for garment workers, improving factory safety conditions and upholding improved labor practices. Our last Supply Chain Matters commentary regarding conditions concerning Bangladesh pointed to the increased visibility on major global retailers from stockholders and consumers for proactive social responsibility practices in their supply chains.
What seems apparent is that workers and labor rights organizers have become far more vocal and impatient toward action.
According to the CNBC published report, Bangladesh last increased its minimum garment-worker pay in late 2010 in response to months of street protests, almost doubling the lowest pay, but the current monthly rate is half of what is paid in Cambodia.
Depending on your perspective, timing may be a factor in these protests given the industry is in the final stages of shipments for the upcoming holiday buying surge for retailers.
The situation obviously remains fluid.