Phase IV: COVID-19 Crisis Impact on RMG Wages and Employment and Role of Trade Unions—Media Tracking Report

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) has undertaken a media tracking exercise to understand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the ready-made garments (RMG) industry and the 4.1 million workers it employs, majority of whom are women. The study attempts to identify the roles of different actors including trade unions and workers’ rights activists as they navigate the crisis while dealing with international buyers, RMG owners, and the GoB. The report covers media reports on the current situation of the RMG sector during COVID-19. The fourth instalment covers the period 01 – 16 June 2020. The study showed that economic aspects were more highlighted in the mainstream media and by employers’ associations rather than workers health safety, job cuts may lead to greater worker unrest, and although health safety and protective measures for workers are being taken, owners’ associations have tried to downplay the issue of workers’ health safety, among other key findings. The study recommended to publish regular data on corona infections among RMG workers (testing, treatment and recovery) and health safety maintenance at the workplace, and to strengthen the capacity of DIFE to enforce laws and government decisions.

Author: Antara, Iffat Jahan
Type: Research Update
Year: 2020