The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has urged the owners to keep their factories closed until April 11. BGMEA urged it to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Rubana Huq, President, BGMEA made the request today on 4 April considering the overall situation. In a message, she assured that RMG workers will get their wages and salaries for the month of March.
“There should be no confusion about that,” she mentioned.
Rubana Huq clarified that factories that have international purchase orders and are producing PPEs can remain open if they ensure necessary protective measures for their employees.
She assured no garment worker will lose their jobs due to absence at their workplace, urging all factory owners to consider it on humanitarian ground.
BGMEA also informed that buyers have so far cancelled worth $3.02 billion work orders following the coronavirus outbreak, affecting 1,104 factories and approximately 2.19 million workers.
Meanwhile, thousands of RMG workers, who left Dhaka after the government declared general holidays from March 26, started returning to the capital. Many of them said they fear losing jobs if they fail to show up for work.
The apparel industry employs about four million people in the sector, mostly women. According to health experts, the labour-intensive sector, which contributes more than 80 per cent to the country’s export earnings, is at high risk of coronavirus outbreak.
Bangladesh has so far confirmed 70 cases and eight coronavirus deaths till today. The country has shut down educational institutions, mass transports and urged people to stay indoors to prevent further transmission of the virus.