RMG owners asked to pay wages before Eid

The government and the ready-made garments factory owners have taken all out measures to foilany untoward incident or unrest in and around the factory premises ahead of the holy Eid festival. The authorities have also taken initiatives to distribute wages and festival bonus of the garments workers as early as possible, sources in the industries ministry and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said.

As the workers of readymade garments industries across the country may take to the streets over payment of wages and festival allowances to their employers before the upcoming Eid festival, the government asked the garment factory owners to pay their bonuses and arrears immediately. The measures were taken to avoid unnecessary humiliation from streets protests and violence. The unrests cause image damage of the nation abroad and hence the authorities concerned have already started monitoring the workers’ activities at Ashulia, Narayanganj, Gazipur in Dhaka and Chattogram.

Meanwhile, the security agencies have already submitted a report to the home ministry listing identified factories in which labour unrest may take place over the payment of wages and bonuses before Eid, sources in BGMEA and home ministry said. The government and BGMEA formed 15 committees based on zones in advance in order to keep the garments sector in perfect discipline and order ahead of the Eid.

These committees have also started zone-wise monitoring of the factories so that no untoward situation occurs in them over the payment of wages and festival allowances, according to sources. Like previous years a central crisis room has also opened this year to oversee the activities of RMG industries and factories and their workers.

According to sources, at least 250 RMG factories are under close monitoring of the BGMEA as the trade organisation has identified the factories as problematic based on the reports of several government agencies and the evaluation of the trade body. The report also reflect that, some garments owners of Ashulia, Tongi, Narayanganj and Chattogram may face difficulties in paying workers’ wages and bonus before this Eid. For this, workers of these particular areas may come out on the streets demanding wages and bonus.

To this regard BGMEA president Rubana Huq told media that, “We are cautious about this and also instructed the garments owners.” President of Bangladesh Exporters Association Abdus Salam Murshedy said, there may be some small problem, but whatever the problem is, those will be solved before Eid. “I hope no unrest will arise ahead of Eid demanding wages and festival bonus this year,” he added.