Skip to main content

tv   Our World  BBC News  December 28, 2020 9:30pm-10:01pm GMT

9:30 pm
40,000 for the first time. there were 41,385 new cases with 357 more deaths, increasing pressure on hospitals still further. a chinese journalist, zhang zhan, who reported on the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in the city of wuhan, has been sentenced to four years in jail over reports that criticised the authorities‘ response to the pandemic. the british government warns travellers and business people to expect bumpy moments in the months ahead as they get to grips with the uk's new relationship with the eu. president trump has signed a coronavirus relief and spending package. he'd previously threatened to block the bill, saying parts of it were ‘wasteful‘. now on bbc news, one of the highlights of the yearfrom our world. bangladesh has the world's second
9:31 pm
largest garment manufacturing industry, which, for decades, has fuelled europe and america's appetite forfast fashion. but as coronavirus spread around the world, over three billion pounds worth of clothing orders were cancelled and many factories were shut. it was a devastating blow to the sector on which many livelihoods depend. bangladesh is one of the world's most incredible economic success stories. at the heart of the country's economic boom is the garment industry. the first factory opened in the 1970s, and now it's a $30 billion industry. barton, arcadia groups, tesco, river island... almost everybody has visited in my showroom. there are almost 5,000 garment factories in bangladesh, employing mostly women.
9:32 pm
but could the coronavirus erase decades of progress in a matter of months? you see all this is justjeans, and those made for the uk high street. theyjust keep here like that. how many days i can keep the jeans like that? where i have the space? factories shut down, leaving thousands of people out of work... chanting. ..and worried about how they will survive.
9:33 pm
bangladesh is the second largest manufacturer of ready—made garments in the world. this industry employs 4 million people in the country. 85% of them are women. the southern port city of chittagong. most of the clothing in these factories is made for fast fashion brands in america and europe. it's all about huge volumes and quick turnaround times. mostafiz uddin is the
9:34 pm
owner of denim expert. this is pepejeans london. he employs 2,000 workers, making jeans for big international brands. when he built the factory 11 years ago, mostafiz focused on creating a safe working environment. he wanted to put bangladesh on the map as a sustainable place to do business. in the past, safety issues were rampant in garment factories. building regulations were disregarded in construction. long working hours in cramped and hazardous factories were common. these unsafe working practices were brought to the
9:35 pm
world's attention in 2013. the eight—storey rana plaza complex collapsed in the capital dhaka. 1,131; people were killed. did you go to rana plaza when it happened? immediately. it was 11.00, 11.30, i think, something like that. i just took my shuttle and i ran away and i went to the rana plaza area and i see the things that are going on, ifeel so much helpless that i had really not things to do, no things to offer. from there, i decided, "0k, that is the time i really "start to how can i do good for people? "how can i change people's perceptions? "how can another rana plaza not happen? " you really can see what i'm
9:36 pm
doing the last 20 years. if you check through my e—mails the last 20 years, you will see every single day i work up through night 3am. he lives with his wife and son in chittagong. i am seeing him after. . . many days. he has dozens of clients from all around the world. many come to visit him in his factory showroom. like this from the marshall, us ambassador, from the danish ambassador. clients who buyjeans from him include famous fashion brands. and who's visited your lab? almost every high street retailer you can think of visited over here like, at the moment boohoo, barton, topshop and then arcadia
9:37 pm
groups, tesco, river island... almost everybody have been visited in my showroom and they all had been written their comments over here, and they are all very happy. but things have changed dramatically since the coronavirus pandemic hit. on 9th of march, the first three cases of coronavirus were announced in dhaka. man on tannoy speaks own language. 0n the 26th of march, the government ordered all factories to lock down.
9:38 pm
millions of workers were sent home, with no idea when they would return to work. hosna and her husband both lost their jobs in garment factories. they live on the outskirts of dhaka in the tongi slum. they share one room with their baby, shareen, and aktar‘s mother. his mother also lost herjob in the garment industry when the factories closed. social distancing here is a challenge.
9:39 pm
0ne stove is shared amongst 20 families. there are six toilets and one communal washing area. the minimum wage for a garment worker in bangladesh is £74 a month. hosna and her family all worked overtime and earned nearly £275 a month between them. one month into the lockdown, hosna was called back into work. but on the 3rd ofjune,
9:40 pm
she was laid off and given just 5,000 taka, around £45, in compensation. in chittagong, 17 days into the pandemic, mostafiz had to close his factory. he was receiving e—mails from buyers cancelling their orders. many of the jeans had already been made and were ready to be dispatched.
9:41 pm
some had already been shipped. but some customers were saying they were no longer responsible for the payment of their order or were putting payment off indefinitely. when the pandemic hit, around $3 billion of orders were cancelled in bangladesh's garment industry. you see all this is justjeans. and those were all made for the uk high street. theyjust keep here like that. how many days i can keep the jeans like that? where i have this space? you can see by yourself there is no space! everywhere, everywhere, everywhere you can see. there is no space and it is not also safe for the working condition! mostafiz pays for all materials to make the jeans upfront.
9:42 pm
he borrows money from the bank for the denim and his workers‘ wages. he generally receives payment on delivery of the goods, not in advance. you can see all of these fabrics are from pakistan, china, india, turkey. and all these fabrics we bought from our manufacturing partners, our suppliers, and they trusted us, they have produced these fabrics when we say to them to do itjust like as we trusted to our buyers and all these people. the same thing, our high street suppliers also trusted us and then we produce and then we ship. now, if you just look into all these fabrics, these are all $1, these are all here around $5—6 million of fabrics in this warehouse, and all the fabric, we borrowed the money from the bank and we purchase this because we trusted our
9:43 pm
clients and told them we would finish them. but they simply cancelled them. as i say, they don't want them. one of the companies that cancelled a large order was uk high street retailer peacocks. in total, peacocks cancelled a contract for 43,600 pairs ofjeans, worth over £162,000. in an e—mail to mostafiz, the company said it was cancelling payments for all stock already made, and stock that had already shipped to its warehouse. 15,100 pairs had already been made and were ready to ship. another 14,500 jeans had had the material bought for them. we tried to contact them to ask why they haven't paid for their orders, but have received no reply. its parent company,
9:44 pm
edinburgh woollen mill, has recently filed for administration, putting up to 24,000 jobs at risk in the uk. we work on trust and faith and belief. our business is like that. everybody in this industry works like that. what we were supposed be producing in march, we had not ordered in february, we ordered that in december. and then the vessel ships from different parts of the world — china, turkey, all of these places. so when the pandemic starts and everything shuts down, even that time, the content starts to come and then it starts to pile up. mostafiz is paying $2,000 a day to keep fabrics he has already ordered, but can't store in his factory at the port. containers after containers starts to come in because we ordered the fabrics and raw materials two or three months before. i am not understanding what to
9:45 pm
do with the responsibility of 2,000 people. my priority is feeding the families, feeding the workers, not the priority to clear the goods for the port. it is not the priority at that time. it is not the buyer who did that commit millions of dollars of goods stuck on the port. but how can i save my worker? how can i keep them alive? in dhaka, with no income, hosna took on the onlyjob she could find — chopping nuts for a local shop. this earns herjust £1 a day.
9:46 pm
her husband has not found work, so looks after their daughter. his mother helena is now the family's main breadwinner, working fourjobs a day cleaning houses. in april, thousands of workers joined protests outside factories, demanding to be paid, but they were unsuccessful.
9:47 pm
mostafiz received some support from the government in the form of low interest loans to help cover salaries. it was not enough to cover all his costs. he took drastic action to keep paying his workers. i sold my property, all the property. even the house where you are sitting now, that house was sold. this one also. this is my only house.
9:48 pm
last month... ..she sold all her jewelleries and gold. and keep on paying to the people. so, we are poor, actually. for a fortnight, he did not sleep. he was under so much pressure, how we can do this. he did not sleep. after 3—4 days, he asked me — i felt a pain in my chest. at times, things were very difficult. this is the street this is where i used to say hi to everybody. i would stand here and thought
9:49 pm
about just jump from here. suicide. that's what i used to think. i mean, people will think i am a coward.
9:50 pm
mostafiz‘s factory reopened after one month. six months on, some buyers have now agreed to pay for orders they'd cancelled. many are still insisting on a discounted rate. mostafiz has taken on deep debts. i am suffering, i am a part of the suffering, but it is not that i am the only person suffering. we are suffering, the group of manufacturers are suffering because it is not happen
9:51 pm
only in bangladesh. the situation, what has happened with me, maybe i am one person or i am one single country, but it is the same in all the production countries. if you go to india, if you go to pakistan or other countries, they also have the same situation as an industry and as a community, we should make some kind of safety net where our workers are safe and secure. they should not have suffered the way how they suffered during the pandemic times. for decades, the fast fashion industry has relied on cheap labour from countries like bangladesh. and for the millions of people like hosna, work in garment factories has provided a better standard of living. imports of clothing to america
9:52 pm
were down 49% from april tojune, and in the eu, they were down by 45%. recent studies showed for every ten workers laid off in bangladesh in the pandemic, only one has returned to work.
9:53 pm
9:54 pm
hello. 0ur weather for the week ahead most definitely continues the winter theme. we certainly started with a winter wonderland on monday all the way from the highlands of scotland south to the cotswolds in southwest england, and a few spots in between, of course, as well. and with the temperatures staying below average through the rest of this week, denoted by the blue colours on the chart, what falls from the sky will often be in the form of sleet and snow. so, it stays wintry through the rest of this week to see out 2020, and it will continue to do so into the start of 2021. there will be some dry, sunny weather around as well, and don't forget, some pretty icy nights. icy start to tuesday across the country. covering of snow, again, northern england and more snow drifting through parts of the north and west midlands through to parts of wales, too. around the peripheries of the country, we'll see showers. they'll turn to snow, chiefly over higher ground, even to lower levels in a few spots. got to watch for rainfall totals totting up in southwest
9:55 pm
england and across cornwall over the next few days. it's around the west where we've got the keenest of the breeze, lighter winds further east and, of course, like we saw on monday, there will be some mist and fog lingering. into tuesday evening, just a few showers around the coast. many inland become dry, clear and very frosty. icy, too, and then, with colder air in place, we'll have to watch this next feature pushing around the dominant low to the northeast of this. this is what could give a more significant and widespread spell of snow. to the south of it, we've got milder air. the colder air is on the northern edge, so it's crucial to the track of that low pressure system who will see the snow. now, it is subject to change. one thing i will say — keep checking the forecast. it could just fringe into northern ireland. at the moment, it looks like the dominant air will be through wales, the midlands, towards east anglia through wednesday and wednesday night for some significant, potentially disruptive snowfall. rain along the south coast, but that whole zone could be a bit further south and have more of an impact on southern areas. even if it doesn't during the day, as it clears through wednesday night into thursday,
9:56 pm
new year's eve, we will see some snow for a time. frost and ice again a feature to take us into new year's eve, and then flurry of showers pushing their way down the eastern half of the country. could give another covering of snow across parts of northern england, the midlands and towards east, temperatures staying below where they should be for the time of year. so, we'll be seeing out 2020 perhaps covered in white across parts of the midlands and eastern england with the snow around, all linked into the low pressure system, which still dominates to the east of us, keeping that northerly flow in place for new year's day. we will see this zone of rain, sleet and snow linger during the morning on new year's day, we think. it will start to fizzle. still a zone of cloud. wouldn't be surprised to still see a few showers in that as winds converge into it, but either side, bit of new year's day sunshine, good day for a walk. it will be cold, though, again, another day to wrap up temperatures at best, mid single figures. through the night, then, friday night and into saturday, low pressure starts to drift a bit further southwards.
9:57 pm
winds start to grow around into more of a northeasterly direction. the good news is that means those showers we've been seeing persistent through much of the week in wales and the far southwest of england will gradually pull away. will bring more wintry showers into eastern coasts again. snow could feature in those, bit of sunshine in between. and then, as we go into the first part of 2021, the jet stream dips to the south of us. we're on the cold side of it, and with low pressure revolving around western europe, we could just see lobes of cloud with rain, sleet and snow pushing back in across the country, particularly for southern areas, so we won't be done with the wintry weather.
9:58 pm
9:59 pm
10:00 pm
tonight at ten, the number of patients being treated for covid in england's hospitals is now higher than it was at the previous the than it was at the previous uk reports a record 40, infections the uk reports a record 40,000 new infections in the past 24 hours. doctors say some services are stretched to the limit. we see patients coming in with covid symptoms but others with other problems to turn out to be covid positive and, between that, there is a great deal of difficulty getting those patients through into the wards. after president trump signs a coronavirus relief bill, democrats in the house of representatives are trying to increase the pay—out to americans. a chinese journalist who reported on the early days of the pandemic has been sentenced to four
10:01 pm
yea rs pandemic has been sentenced to four years injail for


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on