Is your favorite clothing brand complicit in the crackdown?

In December 2018, a new minimum wage of 8,000Tk (US$95) a month for Bangladesh’s garment workers went into effect. In protest of the sub-poverty wage – which is half the amount the labor movement had demanded – workers at dozens of factories took the streets in largely peaceful strikes. The government of Bangladesh’s security forces responded violently. They shot one worker dead on the street on his way home during his lunch break and many others sustained injuries at the hands of the police. Over the next two months, 65 workers were arrested with hundreds more facing unsubstantiated charges at the behest of factory owners. As many as 11,600 workers were dismissed without legal justification, most of whom have been unable to find other jobs due to systematic blacklisting.

This is the largest crackdown on workers’ rights in the last two decades of garment production in Bangladesh.

The table below, updated on February 4, 2020, lists major apparel brands linked to factories that filed unsubstantiated cases against workers who demonstrated for higher wages. As a result of campaign efforts, the charges filed by 14 factories have now been dropped.  At least 19 other cases are still underway, however, with no sign yet of the buyers taking sufficient action to press for the dismissal of the charges. 

Brand

Factories that pressed trumped-up criminal charges against workers

Factories that filed a petition to withdraw their charges

Factories
whose charges were dismissed in court

Workers still facing charges

How consumers can take action

3

2

2

25 named and
100-150 unnamed workers

Tweet at C&A

Post on C&A’s
Facebook

6

5

5

500-600 unnamed workers

Tweet at H&M

Post on H&M’s Facebook


(Inditex)

4

2

2

50 named and 260-315 unnamed workers
 

Tweet at Zara

Post on Zara's
Facebook

5*

4

4

500-600 unnamed workers

Tweet at Mango

Post on Mango’s Facebook

3

3

3

0 workers

 

 

6

5

5

500-600 unnamed workers

Tweet at Next

Post on Next’s
Facebook

3

2

2

7 named and
20-25 unnamed workers

Tweet at Primark

Post on Primark’s Facebook

 

* Mango does not disclose its supplier lists publicly. Therefore, the factories supplying Mango were identified from customer information publicized on factory websites, and the actual numbers may vary.

Inditex discloses only its wet-processsing suppliers, which is the information we used here. It is possible that there are additional factories associated with Inditex than those identified in this chart.

This page was last updated on February 4, 2020.