Employers are uniting with workers in a turn of events in Dhaka.
Faced with continuous blockades and a situation that employers say is “far more serious and dangerous” than the frequent hartals or shutdowns that have been part of life in Dhaka, employers and executives, including many of the leaders of the garment employers organizations, came together Saturday to give political parties an ultimatum.
In a protest, the businessmen held hands to make a human chain outside the offices of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturer and Exporters Association. In addition to the BGMEA, the protest included representatives of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, as well as workers who fear that their jobs are in danger.
BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said that the losses in terms of shipments alone were about $515 million in the first nine months of the year, with companies being unable to get their shipments to the port city of Chittagong and turning to air shipments to meet their deadlines. In the past three weeks, the situation has grown far more serious as the 18 party opposition, led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, gave an ultimatum to the ruling Awami League that they would not accept or participate in the general election set for Jan. 5.
Police officials estimated that there have been more than 50 deaths in violence related to the elections and the recurring blockades in the last six weeks.
Garment leaders told WWD that they had been repeatedly counseling both parties to come to an agreement before the economy of the country was ruined. Bangladesh is the second biggest exporter of garments in the world, after China, and the $22 billion industry is key to the economy.
“We are being faced with a cancellation of orders,” said Islam, “and if we cannot meet our shipments we will not be able to pay worker salaries. Who is going to take responsibility for all of this?”
The high-level protestors have given the government five days to come to a consensus. Otherwise they will join hands with workers and members of the supply chain to protest further if the country was not “saved from dirty politics,” they said.
Garment workers told WWD on Sunday that they feared going to work as protestors resorted to increasing violence and deaths were occurring throughout the city. The blockadesacross Dhaka have been called for 72 hours at a time and left only Friday in the last week as a day when movement was allowed.
This was especially to accommodate Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, assistant secretary general of the United Nations, whose visit to Bangladesh was being watched carefully in the hope it would help bring the political impasse to an end.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews