As many as 230,749 garment workers did not return to their workplaces in Bangladesh despite reopening of the factories amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a latest report of ILO published Wednesday.
They represent 41 per cent of total workforce under the Better Work Bangladesh (BWB), it said.
A total of 260 factories, employing workers numbering to 647,701, are currently under the BWB programme.
Citing sample data from the month of May, the report also revealed that only 3.9 per cent of Bangladeshi suppliers have retained their entire workforce and approximately 43 per cent of the suppliers in Bangladesh are operating with less than 50 per cent of their pre-pandemic workforce.
Worker layoffs and dismissals have increased sharply, while factories that have reopened are often operating with reduced workforce.
International Labour Organization (ILO) at a virtual press briefing held on Wednesday shared the findings of the report titled “The supply chain ripple effect: How COVID-19 is affecting garment workers and factories in Asia and the Pacific”.
It assessed the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on supply chains, factories and workers in ten major garment-producing countries of the region: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
The Covid-19 crisis has hit the garment sector in the Asia Pacific region hard, with plummeting retail sales in key export markets affecting workers and enterprises throughout supply chains, according to a new research from the ILO.
The research also highlighted that major buying countries’ imports from garment-exporting countries in Asia dropped by up to 70 per cent in the first half of 2020, due to collapsing consumer demand, government lockdown measures, and disruptions to raw material imports necessary for garment production.