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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Nov. 16, 2023


Supply Chain by the Numbers for November 16, 2023


Garment Workers in Bangladesh Say No More Low Pay; Australian Ports Hit wth Cyber Attack; Jury Hands Amazon a Big Loss over Alleged Ignoring of Worker Abused by Others; US Manufacturing Flat again in October



That’s about all that garment sector workers in Bangladesh make per day, according to article in the Wall Street Journal last week. They want more. In recent days, tens of thousands have refused to work, demanding that the minimum wage to be increased by 300%. Demonstrations have turned violent, with factories set on fire and equipment broken. About three hundred factories in the county were forced to stop operations. Garment manufacturers in Bangladesh say that for a major hike in pay, Western brands will need to pay more for the goods. “Although the big names in fashion publicly support higher pay, in practice they balk when costs go up and threaten to shift their orders to other countries,” the Journal quotes Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.



That is how much of Australia’s total import and export volumes are handled by four terminals in the country operated by DP World. That number is in the news this week because on Friday DP World shut down its terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle after detecting a cyberattack. DP World is the latest logistics-related company to be targeted by tech-savvy actors. In 2017, global systems at Maersk Line were paralyzed by a ransomware attack, forcing the shipping giant to rely on phone calls and texts to keep operations going. Australian logistics company Toll Group was hit in 2020. The four Australian terminals were reopened Monday even though the threat had not been completely neutralized.





That was the level of the US manufacturing output index for October, as released this week as usual by the Federal Reserve bank. That was slightly lower than the index level of 99.7 seen in September, and about the same as scores hovering around the 99 level since February, with no real growth, but not recessionary with declines either. The October score, however, was down 1.7% from the same period in 2022. At an index level of 99.0, it means US manufacturing is still below output in the baseline year of 2017 (index = 100) now almost seven years later. It is also well below the all-time high of about 108, reached in late 2007.



$1.2 Million

That is how much a jury in Los Angeles area just ordered Amazon to pay a former fulfillment center employee with Asperger’s syndrome who claimed he was bullied and abused by co-workers at a FC in San Bernardino and that the company did nothing when he raised the issue to supervisors and HR. Despite his difficulties, lawyer Raymond Babaian said his client Michael Kopp excelled in his job, and in 2019 was recognized as the third top associate in productivity for the entire facility. But he said he was also abused there, including severe verbal insults from co-workers and one employee who would throw boxes in Kopp’s direction. According to the complaint, Kopp alleged the FC “seemed to operate much like a high school bullying the disabled kid.” A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to inquiries about the ruling by the Los Angeles Times.

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