Unrest in RMG sector

10 foreign-aided NGOs under scanner

Law enforcement agencies have strengthened surveillances on 10 foreign-aided ‘controversial’ NGOs for their alleged link to the ongoing labour unrests in the RMG sector of the country, intelligence sources said.

They said that following a latest report by an influential intelligence agency, government high-ups have instructed all law enforcement agencies to monitor the activities of the NGOs and their officials.

Some foreign nationals have also been brought under strict surveillances as they are allegedly involved in the conspiracy to destroy the RMG sector of Bangladesh from the very beginning, the sources said.

The NGOs are Germany and Denmark-aided Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies, Denmark-aided SF-United Federation of Danish Worker Bangladesh, Germany-financed GIZ, AFL-CIO, Nederland-aided Clean Cloth Campaign, USA-sponsored Solidarity Center, Workers Rights Consortium and Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity, National Coordination Committee for Worker Education, Bangladesh Legal Aid Service Trusts, and World Federation of Trade Union Bangladesh.

The intelligence report claims that some left-leaning labour organisations are planning to create severe unrest in country’s garments sectors.

It says the quarters have become desperate to implementing their plots before the Eid-ul-Fitr which is days away.
The sources said the NGOs are sending their officials and employees to various RMG factories for creating sense of dissatisfaction among workers over their dues and other pay inequalities.

The intelligence report was submitted to the government’s high-ups including to the Prime Minister’s Office.
According to the report, around one dozen labour leaders are directly involved in the conspiracies.

According to intelligence sources, some RMG factory owners are not paying wage for the month of May; they are giving only Eid bonus [festival allowance] as Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on May 24 or 25.

In this situation, some labour leaders are misleading RMG to demand advance salary for May with Eid bonus.

The leaders in question include Mizanur Rahman of Garment Workers Federation, Aminul Islam and Montu Ghosh of Garment Workers Trade Union, Jolly Talukder of Garment Workers Trade Union Center, Kazi Ruhul Amin of Garment Workers Trade Union, Nazma Akhter of Sammilita Garment Sramik Federation, Moshrefa Mishu of Garment Workers Federation, A l Kamran of Swadhin Bangla Garment Workers Federation, Babul Akhter of Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Worker Federation and Ali Reza Chowdhury Tuhin of Bangladesh Garment Workers Trade Union Federation.

Moshrefa Mishu, however, denied the allegations. “The allegations against us about instigating RMG unrests are not true at all,” she to Bangladesh Post.

“Whenever we work for the workers, false issue comes to light with an ill-motive, she said adding, “We’re not involved in any conspiracy against the country.”

Responding to a question, she said workers of around 2,000 garments factories are not getting their salary and bonus.

“Whenever we get news of any unrest, we go to the factory along with local police and lobby for payment of the dues. Sometime the owners pay, but these payments are not often enough,” she said.

Some garment owners have failed to pay wages of their workers amid the coronavirus pandemic resulting in road blockades, vandalism and protests.

“In such a situation, if RMG factory owners do not pay their wages finally, the situation may deteriorate further,” intelligence sources warned.