Supporting factories in Bangladesh to manage the impact of COVID-19

News | 20 October 2020

Dhaka / Bangkok: Factories in Bangladesh are being supported by ILO to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 6 and 13 October 2020, the ILO-SIDA Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia (DWGSC) project organized two virtual orientations for factories. The events saw 167 factory representatives introduced to key concepts and recommendations in the COVID-19 business resilience guides. Factory representatives also had the chance to ask questions and share experiences and advice with each other.

The COVID-19 Business Resilience Guides were developed to assist factory managers to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guides are highly practical and provide concrete steps for factories to take. They also come with additional support materials, such as Excel sheets and templates for preparing action plans and adjusting factory layouts.

The first orientation dealt with financial implications caused by COVID-19. Mukbul Hossain, from the Masco Group, shared how at the onset of the pandemic, the group carried out an assessment to identify opportunities to reduce costs, increase production, and identify income streams where earnings could be boosted.

The second session focused on how to manage people and operations during and after COVID-19. AB M Abul Hossain from Multiplus Accessories shared how his factory had organized virtual meetings with the management team, buyers and suppliers. He highlighted the challenges of communicating virtually, particularly when it comes to sharing product samples as pictures might deviate from what they look like in reality.

In addition, participants discussed measures taken to ensure safe and healthy workplaces and how to communicate with workers during the crisis. Factory managers emphasized the importance of maintaining regular communication with workers and allowing them to express their concerns.

Sara Andersson, Technical officer from the DWGSC project, thanked factory representatives who shared experiences and tips for how to deal with the crisis with other participants in a final remark at the end of the last session. “We want to encourage you all to work together and continue to support each other to get through these unprecedented times.”

The recordings of both virtual orientations are available here.

For more information, please contact Sara Andersson.