National, Front Page

1mn RMG workers at risk of losing job

17,000 lost job until June 1

Published : 06 Jun 2020 09:56 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 11:17 AM

At least one million RMG workers of the country are at high risk of losing their jobs as the factories are unable to utilize their full production capacity now due to the cancellation of orders by the foreign buyers following the worldwide virus pandemic.

According to the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), as an aftermath of the ongoing virus pandemic, at least 17,000 RMG workers have lost their jobs till June 1. And another 10 lakh (1 million) workers may lose their jobs soon as an immediate effect of the deadly virus pandemic.

Factory owners claim that they are being forced to cut off their workers for the sake of their own survival through minimizing the production cost during this very crucial situation.

Industry insiders said most of the industrialists have planned to cut off their operation costs to cope with the upcoming financial recession.

 Many of the factories are failing to use their production capacities due to the shortage of works.

Muhammad Hatem, first vice president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BKMEA), the apex trade body to represent solely the knitwear sector of the country, said, “Currently no factory is capable of utilizing its full production capacity. Many factories can utilize only 30 percent of their capacity as work orders from foreign buyers have decreased significantly. Even large factories cannot use more than sixty percent of their production capabilities.”

In this situation, termination is a must, he added.

He warned that at least twenty-five percent of the workers from a total of 40 lakh (4 million) may lose their jobs.

DIFE has already started to collect the data of the terminated workers from every district. Despite the government order not to terminate workers from their jobs, many workers have already lost their jobs. DFIE has collected data from twenty-three districts till June 1.

 According to the DFIF, some 17,579 workers have been terminated from 67 factories in Dhaka, Chattagram and Narsingdi district. Among them, some 7,488 workers are from 26 factories in Dhaka. The data further show that the number of terminated workers is the highest in Gazipur. Some 9, workers have been terminated from 30 factories in  Gazipur.

Some 193 workers have lost their jobs in Narayanganj district while some 589 workers have lost jobs from two factories in Narsingdi.

DIFE Director General Shibnath Roy said, “We came to know that 17,579 workers from 67 factories have already lost their jobs.”

“As per law, we will verify the data. If we see that there were violations of law, we will take legal steps against the owners of the factories,” he assured.

 Earlier on Thursday, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Rubana Huq also admitted that a good number of RMG workers might be terminated from their jobs this month as the factories are running at 55 percent capacity at present.

She claimed that many factories are facing either closure or termination of a massive number of workers as the international retailers and brands have already canceled work orders worth $3.15 billion.