BBC panorama go behind the ‘locked doors’ of a garment factory in Bangladesh to investigate the unbelievable conditions workers are expected to work in so that we can have something to wear, so that we can have access to cheap clothing and keep up to date with fast changing fashion fads…how is this fair and just?
Simply it is not and (ironically) thanks to the factory fires of the recent past the abhorrent working conditions have punctuated and exposed the industries foul play and have made the truly horrific far more accessible for people to read about on mainstream news portals and the web in general. The debate surrounding this subject matter seems to have peaked and taken on a far more meditative, austere and human dimension.
The UK has stringent working conditions, this includes the recommended temperature employees can happily be expected to work in, before it becomes too hot or too cold for example. In the instance if the conditions become uncomfortable we approach our employer or call up an independent body who will support workers and help them restore reasonable working conditions.
6,000 miles away the same companies with shops in the UK and factories in Bangladesh do not apply the same rights to their employees and seem to have turned a blind eye to working practices that are simply inhuman. The workers work tirelessly in conditions that have not been tolerated in the UK for over 50-years; whats more these workers are recompensed with low-wages and few if any employee benefits or prospects for career advancement.
The responsibility rests with Western retailers AND the factory owners- those who manage it and direct the worker. It is clear that the immense pressure of the industry to keep the supply chain moving is profound and the cost of this can transpire into a 19-hour long shifts for factory workers.
Watch the documentary tonight at 8.30pm on BBC 1. .