Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Rubana Huq wrote a letter to German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller about the grim figure of cancelled garment orders and urged him to tell all those brands not to cancel or hold any shipment from Bangladesh.
In her letter, Rubana urged for the support of German minister to help prevent a "disastrous impact" on labour force and apparel industry of Bangladesh.
She assured the minister that the German brands can pay them after three months given the current pandemic situation.
The minister was requested to seek the brands' approval for shipment and production from Bangladesh to continue till July, at the least.
BGMEA president also explained the manufacturing reality of Bangladesh where the country will see a "social unrest" if owners fail to pay the workers, as the large number of low-income employee and their family make living on single income source.
Stating an existential threat in the face of current situation she wrote, "This unfortunate occurrence is a disaster that neither humanity nor commerce can afford."
According to the email of Rubana Huq, nine factories have reported a cancellation figure of $49,238,840 against eighteen million plus pieces.
However, a list of German brands which have cancelled orders with Bangladesh was also emailed to Minister Muller separately.
Rubana said, "So far it's been $1.98 billion lost, impacting the lives of 1.2 million workers. While the Covid19 wreaks havoc globally, the fate of our industry and our workers has ended up being uncertain. With Brands handing out cancellations and deferments, we have no idea what tomorrow holds.
Brands who were partners last month have all turned into strangers, unable to fathom our exposure to an existential crisis of handling the wages of 4.1 million workers. Without orders and with empty production spaces, all the workers run a risk of being totally unemployed for a long time to come.
For us it comes down to a level of bare minimum survival mode, while the western world still has the privilege of having bailouts from their privileged governments
On that consideration, we call upon the international community to surface with a renewed pledge to support the workers of Bangladesh, if not just the businesses."