Pre-Eid labour unrest may be brewing in 385 garment units

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 17 Aug 2017, 22:47:34

Pre-Eid labour unrest may be brewing in 385 garment units

Pre-Eid labour unrest may be brewing in 385 garment units
Monira Munni

Some 385 industrial units across the country have been identified as 'vulnerable' to labour unrest over the payment of wages and festival allowances ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha, officials said.

Some 300 of those units are readymade garment (RMG) factories, mostly small and medium in size, while other units included jute mills, furniture, plastic, home textile, dying and accessories, and steel mills.

The Industrial Police recently sent a list of the 'vulnerable' industrial units to the labour ministry and another list of sensitive RMG factories to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), expressing the apprehension that labour unrests might take place at those units over payment of monthly wages, arrears and festival allowances.

It requested the apparel sector trade body to take necessary measures for averting any untoward incidents before the Eid, officials said.

The BGMEA, however, differed with the number of factories mentioned by the government agency.

According to industry insiders and officials, the majority of the factories are engaged in subcontracting, and in the recent times, they are passing through hard times for lack of work orders amid the persisting dilemma caused by safety and compliance issues.

"It is the assumption of Industrial Police that labour unrest might take place in those units over payment of wage and festival allowance," BGMEA vice president Mahmud Hasan Khan told the FE Thursday.

The BGMEA also monitors its member factories before Eid, he said, adding that the number mentioned by the authorities might not be so high. Some 10 to 12 garment factories remain under close monitoring where problems might arise, he added.

The labour ministry in a meeting Wednesday asked the garment makers to pay festival allowance by August 24 and pay monthly wages before the Eid.

Sirajul Islam Rony, a labour leader, said that though the incidents of non-payment of wage declined in the recent years, there are still a good number of factories where workers are worried about getting their monthly wages and festival allowances.

According to BGMEA, more than 4,000 factories are listed with the association while more than 1,100 remain closed or have no existence.
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