Readymade garment (RMG) workers of Bangladesh will get 60% of their gross monthly wages for the closure period. Monnujan Sufian, State Minister for Labor announced recently. The government announced that factories, which were closed in April due to general holidays will get the benefit.
At a Tripartite Consultative Council meeting at Shrama Bhaban in Dhaka, the Labor Minister announced that. Where garment factory owners and a group of trade union leaders also attended the meeting.
As workers in Dhaka and Gazipur continued to stage protests demanding payment of unpaid wage and recall of their recently dismissed fellow workers.
Monnujan Sufian guaranteed that the workers’ wages would be sent through mobile financial services and there would be no sackings at RMG factories amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier the State Minister for Labor announced to clear all the workers’ salaries by April. As it did not happen, the leaders of the garment sector trade unions have stayed absent from the meeting.
“The government announcement was not implemented in the RMG sector as factory layoffs and retrenchment of workers were taking place every day in the sector,” said Salahuddin Shapon, Former Secretary-General of IndustryALL Bangladesh Council.
He sent a letter to the labor secretary on Wednesday asking the authorities to sidestep sections 12, 16, 20 and 26 of the Bangladesh Labor Act 2006 for the time being by imposing section 324 to protect the workers from layoffs and termination amid the ongoing pandemic.
Earlier, Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre voiced their discontent over the decision of cutting workers’ wages by 40% during the general holidays.
The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments recently sent a press release to the Labor Secretary a list of 938 factories, where units were laid off by the owners. Out of 938 factories, 95% was RMG units, ministry officials said.
According to data by Industrial Police, a total of 2,356 industrial units, with 1,116 textile and RMG factories, remained open under the jurisdiction of the agency.
Among 1,116 garment and textile factories, 817 are members of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), 214 registered with Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and 85 are members of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA).