Amid walkouts and protests over poor working conditions, one factory boss in Bangladesh tells Channel 4 News that western brands are to blame for haggling over every last penny.
The town of Ashulia is home to scores of clothing factories serving some of the world’s best known high street brands.
Mid-morning and we find thousands of workers walking off the job. Most of them are women who make clothes exclusively for H&M, the Swedish retail giant and Bangladesh’s biggest clothing buyer. The factory where they work is one of more than 20 in Ashulia forced to shut because of unrest.
In Ashulia, one of the factory managers told Channel 4 News that his clothes went to H&M in America and 25 countries across Europe. He said he had sent his workers home because they were frightened by local unrest – and that he’d love to give them a pay rise if only he could.
“Our factory is very safe,” he said. But when he tried to open the door of a fire escape it was padlocked shut.