Primark continues its orders in Myanmar | Garment Industry News
“We have 45,000 in the Primark supply chain in Myanmar who are very dependent on these jobs.”
Primark continues to support production and orders in Myanmar despite continued violence across the country linked to the February military coup – with the retailer saying the 45,000 people in its Myanmar supply chain are a “big responsibility “.
The comments come from Primark’s head of corporate responsibility, Katharine Stewart, who addressed a panel of UK MPs yesterday (April 28) during the Committee’s ‘Fixing Fashion: follow-up’ session. environmental audit.
The session aimed to explore steps the UK fashion industry has taken to clean up its law since the EAC first surveyed the sector’s environmental impact and working conditions at UK garment factories in 2018. This week’s update also looked at the actions taken. in place to reduce the industry’s social and environmental footprint.
Stewart was asked about Primark’s position in Myanmar after several fashion companies, including Benetton and H&M, suspended working with suppliers in the country and Bestseller suspended placing new orders.
“Our main concern at the moment is that we have field staff in Myanmar who are part of my team, but we also have 45,000 in the Primark supply chain in Myanmar who are very dependent on these jobs.
“We have orders that we placed before the coup. We therefore continue to support the production of these orders.
“We also pay close attention to the advice and guidance we receive. We are working closely with the global union IndustriAll to gain their support and advice, as well as the UK government on how we are taking this approach.
“But I have to say that this is a day to day review. We are in contact with our team in the field on a daily basis and with our suppliers. We are monitoring the situation very closely and at the moment are supporting the orders that we are getting. placed there through our strategic suppliers because you know it’s important to 45,000 people – there is a big responsibility. “
Stewart went on to explain that Myanmar-based Primark staff are the retailer’s “eyes and ears”, physically going to factories and monitoring the situation while providing support. They also visit factories regularly to make sure the code of conduct – which encourages factory workers to join unions – is being followed.
In terms of movement restrictions, Stewart said this mainly applied to security from factories to residences.
“You will have seen in the news some of the protests and damage to factories in some areas, which appeared to be targeting Chinese suppliers. So we’ve seen the impact of that with some of our factories, but then there are areas of Yangong. where we did not see this level of disruption and where workers were able to enter and leave factories without a problem.
“Some of the stories of how the workers themselves tried to keep the factories open during this tough and difficult time really moved and demonstrates the importance of these jobs.
“So we’re going to have to stay very close to the advice and what’s going on and, if we can, we want to support those 45,000 people.”