Title: Coping strategies of ready-made garments workers in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative assessment

Authors: Kazi Mahmudur Rahman; Kishore Kumer Basak; Nibras Bin Sayed

Addresses: Department of Social Sciences & Humanities, School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Independent University Bangladesh (IUB), Dhaka – 1229, Bangladesh ' Dhaka – 1205, Bangladesh ' Dhaka – 1205, Bangladesh

Abstract: COVID-19 has so far affected the global readymade garments (RMG) industry in multifaceted ways, and the RMG of Bangladesh was no exception in terms of facing repercussions. While there is a public perspective about the RMG workers being mostly unaffected by the pandemic, the study reveals a different narrative as the majority of the respondents suffered economically; while some received their wages at irregular intervals, others faced a huge dent in their savings. In addition, the respondents seemed to have operated in conditions which largely ignored the health risks of the pandemic. Nevertheless, workers developed different kinds of coping strategies to battle against the pandemic. Some coping mechanisms were found to be positive, whereas other strategies revealed the hidden hardships, for instance, reduced food consumption, a tendency to seek loans, which too were hard to find, resulting in rising debts, and a constant struggle of finding alternative sources of income.

Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; garment workers; RMG sector; apparel industry; coping strategy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISD.2024.135254

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2024 Vol.18 No.1/2, pp.123 - 145

Received: 07 Sep 2021
Accepted: 20 Apr 2022

Published online: 03 Dec 2023 *

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