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Death benefits for RMG workers- the story of ACS Textiles Ltd.

The Challenges

In Bangladesh, there is a lack of social safety nets such as pension schemes and health insurance, especially for workers in the private sector. In this regard, this article highlights an initiative taken by a local private company, ACS Textiles Ltd., which provides death benefits to its employees beyond what the labour law requires, as a best practice in the industry.

To begin with, this company felt that the basic knowledge should be delivered to all the workers about the criteria and process of the death benefits since they are not aware of these and hence cannot avail or claim in the future. So, the company prepared some plans and strategies in order to find out the beneficiary criteria to provide the benefit and implement the social safety net. The company also created bank account for each beneficiary.

The Initiatives

Since its establishment in 2005, in addition to legal benefits, ACS Textiles Ltd. has been providing death benefits to families or nominees of its workers unless any worker commits suicide. In addition to legal benefits, the deceased worker’s nominees will get the worker’s last month’s salary during their lifetime.

From March 2006 till now, the factory has been providing these benefits to families of 23 workers, including three female workers, totalling BDT 2, 91,142 per month. Among them, 16 of the workers deceased due to normal cause and seven for accidental death outside the workplace. The objective of the benefits is to support dependents of deceased workers, who would otherwise be in financial hardship.

There are no criteria of service length to get such benefits in this factory, but the worker has to be employed by this factory during his or her death. One exceptional case was also noted that one worker who had left the company two years before his death while his family is still receiving such facilities.

The management of the factory wants to continue such practice as long as the factory sustains. The workers are also aware about this practice.

According to Mahmuda Sultana, wife of late Abdul Ohab, who was working as a Production Officer in Quality section of Stitching, “ Ohab was the only earning member of his family and after his death, these benefits are  supporting his family to survive as well as providing educational support to his two minor children for the last six years.”

Late Shamal Biswas was working as an Assistant Colour-man in the Processing Department. After his death in a road accident, his dependents - mother, wife and two children are surviving through death benefits.

Late Shamal Biswas was working as an Assistant Colour-man in the Processing Department. After his death in a road accident, his dependents – mother, wife and two children are surviving through death benefits.

Death Benefits -2

There is another case of a female worker, late Marzina Begum, who was working as a Quality Checker at the Finishing and Folding section under Processing Department. She also died in a road accident in November 2016. Her husband is currently working as a Cutter man in the Stitching Department of the same factory and also getting such death benefits. With this support, he is able to take proper care of their two children.

The Success

The workers are satisfied to have such benefits from the factory which would have positive influence on their families’ income after their death. This initiative provides a win-win situation for both workers and management.

ACS Textiles (Bangladesh) Ltd.

ACS Textiles (Bangladesh) Ltd. is one of the leading manufacturer and exporters of Home Textile Product in Bangladesh. 4,500 workers are working here. The manufacturing process of this company vertically integrated with weaving, printing, dyeing and embroidery with complete back process including CAD designing studio, continuous bleaching plant and stitching unit.

Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry (PSES) is a joint project of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which works on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in partnership with the Bangladesh Government. The project is supporting Bangladesh’s garment, textile and leather sectors to increase compliance with national labour and environment laws and international standards to fulfil the commitment towards an inclusive workforce. PSES promotes best practices from the RMG industry, to raise awareness and encourage industrial players to replicate similar initiatives in the areas of social and environmental standards as well as inclusive skills development.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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