How did Primark Beat the recession?

Posted: December 20, 2009 in Uncategorized
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High Street Fashion Retailer Primark victimized Bangladeshi garment workers for its victory against the recession.


High Street Fashion Retailer Primark authorities announced last month that the company’s sale increased by 20%,to  £2.3bn from September 2008 to September 2009 despite the global recession ,The Guardian reported.

Primark’s parent company  Associated British Food’s  chief executive ,George Weston said to the Guardian :”Great clothes and great value.” to explain the company’s success.

Other fashion retailers in High Street like Marks and Spencer,Debbenham,H&M and Dorothy Perkins‘ sales decreased during the same period of the recession.

The Compmany's sale increased despite the recession.

Anti-poverty charity organisation War on Want ‘s authorities said ,Primark’s booming business in recession costs to its garment workers’ living standards and called Gordon Brown to stop this abuse.

In 2006,War on Want visited six garment factories in Bangladesh to find out their workers’ working conditions who produce clothes for Primark,Asda and Tesco.

The Organisation published Fashion Victims 1 Report after its visit which shows that ,garment workers struggle  to survive on extremely low pay ,suffering poor working conditions,arduous hours and have no trade union representation in the factories.They earn Tk 1663(£13.97) a month which is less than 7p per hour. Living wage in Bangladesh is Tk5333(£44.82).It is normal for them to work up to 80 hrs a week and get paid late.


Garment workers have no sick or maternity leave.Factory bosses physically assault them when the target is not met.Supervisors beat the workers when they don’t produce enough items of clothing per hour.Female workers are especially vulnerable ,60% of them are subject to obscene and sexually suggestive language in the workplace.

War on Want worked in partnership with National Garment Workers’ Federation in Bangladesh ,a campaigner group like Let’s Clean the Fashion and many  other non-governmental organisations opposing the exploitation of garment workers in the UK for two years and visited those factories in 2008 second time.The Organisation published Fashion Victims 2 Report after its visit.

While War on Want’s Fashion Victims 2 Report shows all the evidence to prove that garment workers’ working conditions are worse than they were before Weston says to the Guardian :”We are working tirelessly  to improve conditions of garment workers,we have come a long way in the last 12 months.”

Garment workers were on strike last June.

Primark and its parent company Associated British Foods held the company’s Annual General Meeting in central London where they met many anti-poverty company including War on Want .They received a letter with 2000 campaigners’ signatures to stop exploitation of garment workers on 5th December.

However ,exploitation of garment workers does not exist only in Bangladesh.Cambodia,India,Sri Lanka,Indonesia,Thailand ,China,Hon Kong are the other countries where garment workers work on minimum wage and have no right in their work place.

Activists from Asia ,Europe and America founded Asia Floor Wage  Campaign to protect garment workers in Asia in 2005.

Moreover ,fashion does not victimise only garment workers,it also victimise people in developed countries who have been forced to follow it like a slave.

An American author ,|Michell Lee’s book  “Fashion Victim “explains how people have become fashion victims in developed countries.


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