5 February 2017.
Dhaka – Better Work Bangladesh is running a Levi Strauss Foundation-funded project that provides garment workers with shoes, as many in Bangladesh’s RMG labour force still work barefoot inside factories, a practice that oftentimes leads to fatigue-related injuries.
The programme has distributed 2,200 pairs of shoes since last December in two of its affiliated factories to workers who have been hunching at sewing machines, cutting, stitching, finishing, boxing and labelling barefoot since the inception of their career.
Sometimes workers refuse to wear shoes during their activities out of habit, other times they are prevented from wearing them with the excuse of keeping the factory floors clean.
Preliminary results of the project show that when workers are allowed to wear shoes inside the factories premises they feel socially empowered and on the same level of their managers.
Also, initial data based on the feedback from workers and their supervisors reveal that wearing shoes boosts the mental well-being of the employees who also feel more motivated than before.