There are two types of factories in Bangladesh: the exporting ones and the ones producing for the local market. Or rather, those that are assumed as 100% exporters, making the EPZs (Export Processing Zones) and subject to laws and stringent inspections, and those who are selling to both markets, although they do not assume it, most of them as a subcontractor when big factories can not meet the increasing number of requests from international buyers. And for these there are no rules. "We can not follow all the rules imposed by the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association), takes Md Salahudin, founder and manager of a factory in Savar, which guarantees only two things: "security [the building has only one floor] and wages [starting in 7000৳]".
After the Rana Plaza, the government banned the emergence of new small factories, but they continue to appear with the permission of the local operator. And not even the issue of underage employment is safeguarded since there is the national ID card, a card issued locally, that allows the young workers to lie about their real age. When we asked the youths we see sewing labels of international names they turn the face, they say they do not understand English.
Manager of top factories say, anonymously, they also feel the lack of buyers' support: "Compliance is nothing. It's just buyers' money. They dictate the rules. They even determine from which suppliers we are going to get the fabrics and the equipments". The same complaints come from environmentalists, referring to the pressure of the buyers in this field but the null value of investment.
Daniel Rodrigues for The New York Times.