Bangladesh: Following five prominent apparel buyers – H&M, Inditex (Zara), C&A, Next and Tchibo deciding to pull out of the upcoming Dhaka Apparel Summit (to be held on February 25th) as a mark of protest against the arrest and alleged harassment of garment workers and labour activists post workers’ demonstration in Ashulia demanding wage hike, Bangladesh Government and garment exporters have reportedly stepped in to tackle the situation.
Apart from the buyers, Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), an alliance of companies, trade unions and non-Governmental organizations to promote worker rights across the globe, has also reportedly withdrawn from the event. This has now reportedly forced the Government to decide on helping the arrested workers get bail and take relevant steps to ensure workers’ rights. The event, which is the second-of-its-kind, is scheduled to be held tomorrow to highlight Bangladesh garment sector’s achievements.
According to the rights groups – Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), International Labor Rights Forum, and Worker Rights Consortium, at least 34 union leaders and workers were arrested and detained, many for over weeks, despite lack of any evidence of wrongdoing against them.