DHAKA – A garment factory in Mauritius which lists UK retailers Asos and John Lewis among its clients failed to pay salaries to 180 workers for two months, according to reports in Bangladesh. Tex Knit Garment has blamed a lack of work orders for a situation which has left many workers unable to meet minimal daily living costs, according to local reports. It is claimed that workers from the factory have met with local authorities several times in a bid to get back-payments of wages, but none have yet been forthcoming. Around 65 of the workers are said to have travelled from Bangladesh to work at Tex Knit and have subsequently been left in limbo s they entered the country as garment workers and have been therefore unable to take up other work.
While the company’s website is now down, Apparel Insider understands Tex Knits was at one stage producing 1.38m pieces per month across multiple factories and production facilities in Mauritius, Bangladesh and India. Both Asos and John Lewis list the company’s Mauritius factory as a supplier.
Tex Knits had previously claimed all its factories were Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) compliant. SMETA is one of the most widely used ethical audit formats in the world.
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The Dhaka Tribune suggests that the Al Ihsaan Islamic Foundation (Shakeel Anaruth), a local charity, has provided the Bangladeshi workers with food, and other necessary items. In addition, Young Star Expatriate Welfare Association, an online foundation of Bangladeshi expatriates, provided food to the workers.
When contacted, Mohammad Hafiz, president of Young Star Expatriate Welfare Association, said the Bangladeshi workers have been in “a dire condition for a long time as their company failed to pay their salary.”