The move of the tanneries to Savar from their unsuitable current location in Hazaribagh was first planned back in 2003. From today’s press the situation has collapsed into chaos. The government is trying to force tanners to move but do not have the effluent plant ready in Savar. Few of the 150 0r so tanners have been taking matters seriously and most appear not to be even contemplating a move so from the outside who can tell who is worse – the government or the tanners.
But a couple of things are clear. The longer this goes on the more dreadful stories and pictures get out about the training industry and damage not only the reputation of all things from Bangladesh but also of all leather made in the world.
Second Bangladesh does have some good tanners and fine leather, and makes some good products from them. Bangladeshi goatskins are good quality. They have lost a lot of business because of this continuing delay in moving and the current situation is making it worse. While they argue the leather industry and its customers are getting more and more serious about the CSR agenda and Bangladesh will struggle to get into the picture if it continues like this.
The leaders of the tanning industry need to be willing to tells whites truly happening, what their serious intentions are and what the timetable actually is. Will Savar be ready for the wet blue stage shortly or are we going to have to wait until 2017. When will all workers be using proper protective wear, and what is in place to ensure there will be no future child employment.
All of history shows us tanners kept quite, hunkered down and refused to speak. But that is just that, history. The Bangladesh tanners need to be truthful and tell us the plans in full.
I wrote this earlier. Silence from Bangladesh does no one any good