Foreign retailers cannot have their cake and eat it too
But who is to blame?
A number of major UK retailers, like Marks & Spencer, Next, John Lewis, Debenhams, and Sainsbury’s are dragging their feet when it comes to signing up to Bangladesh’s latest laws on fire and safety.
Considering our foreign buyers have previously criticized Bangladesh for its poor worker safety standards, is their reluctance to sign the safety deal not an act of hypocrisy?
We realize that the reason foreign buyers are so interested in Bangladeshi apparels is our relatively low labour costs, but if they are serious about improved worker safety, then refusing to invest in those improvements reveals their double standards in the matter.
In the past, we have seen calls from foreign outlets to boycott the Dhaka Apparel Summit ostensibly in support of garment worker demands.
But it is unacceptable that these foreign buyers take advantage of Bangladeshi market conditions while pretending to take the moral high ground.
Foreign retailers cannot have their cake and eat it too.
If they wish to see improvements in worker safety, they need to pay up.