Clear wages of apparel workers before Eid: Govt to factory owners

BDApparelNews Desk
14 May 2019  

Workers of Bangladesh`s garments factories. Photo Courtesy: Collected

Workers of Bangladesh`s garments factories. Photo Courtesy: Collected

Bangladesh government has called upon factory owners to clear the wages of apparel industry workers ahead of the holiday of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest Islamic festival in the country.

State Minister for Labour and Employment Munnujan Sufian conveyed the call at a press briefing post to a meeting of apparel industry’s Crisis Management Committee at the ministry premises on May 13, 2019, says a press release of the ministry.

“Eid is our biggest religious festival. The government wants everybody to spend the holidays with near and dear ones during Eid. The factory owners must come forward to ensure the same for our apparel industry workers,” she said in the press conference.

She also reminded the factory owners to arrange and organise leave for apparel industry workers on a schedule basis for the factories located on highways and key industrial zones so as to avoid traffic on the highways during the homegoing rush ahead of Eid.

Among others present in the meeting were Labour and Employment Secretary Ummul Hasna, the ministry’s Additional Secretary Molla Jalal, Additional Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, BGMEA President Rubana Huq, Industrial Police Director General Abdus Salam, National Sramik League’s President Sukkur Mahmud, and General Secretary Md Sirajul Islam.

WHY THIS EID IS CRUCIAL

It is almost traditional in Bangladesh that every year before Eid the apparel industry workers come down to the streets demanding due wages or bonus from factory workers.

This time though, things are a bit more serious as Bangladesh has freshly gotten off the biggest labour unrest over discrepancy in the latest pay structure during December 2018 and January 2019. Over 11,000 workers were reportedly sacked in the fallout of the unrest.

Without delay, the government formed 23 ‘monitoring committees’ after the unrest, which are still working on the ground and taking information about the latest situation of labour unrest. Governed under the Crisis Management Committee, it is also ensuring a smooth atmosphere.

One of the prime work of those ‘monitoring committees’ have been to relay ground information to the government for swift tackling of any untoward situation that may arise. The government also is sitting regularly to check back with these ground teams to stay informed.

Now, the government and factory owners must tread carefully regarding the Eid pay and bonus of the workers. Concerns are, the labour unrest may spring back.