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Intel agencies fear RMG unrest


Published : 22 Jul 2020 09:50 PM | Updated : 05 Sep 2020 11:10 PM

With opposition parties facing dearth of issues to trigger any anti-government agitation, they might attempt to create anarchic situation in the readymade garment sector capitalizing on the non-payment of wages and Eid bonuses to workers.

Keeping the activities of the parties in mind, the government, however, is working to foil any possible intrigue of triggering labour unrest over the non-payment of salaries and allowances.

Earlier, workers’ leaders set July 20 as a deadline for paying all dues to the workers. As the deadline is over, the RMG sector is exposed to a serious risk of labour unrest.

Of late, intelligence agencies submitted a list of 347 garment factories, which will face severe problem, if they fail to pay dues to their workers before the holy Eid-ul-Adha.

Many of the factories may face closure before the Eid, the intelligence agencies warned the government.

Concerned quarters are apprehending that capitalizing on the wage non-payment issue, BNP-Jamaat politicians in league with some left leaning worker leaders’ may attempt to create unrest to embarrass the government.

Mizanur Rahman of  Garment Workers Federation, Aminul Islam and Montu Ghosh of Garment Workers Trade Union,  Jolly Talukder of Garment Workers Trade Union Center, KaziRuhul Amin of Garment Workers Trade Union,Nazma Akhter of Sammilita Garment Sramik Federation, MoshrefaMishu of Garment Workers Federation,Al 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, may instigate RMG unrest before the Eid festival.

Industrial police also submitted a list of around seventy factories, which are members of the BGMEA and BKMEA.

But the factories which are not affiliated with these two organizations- will face more difficulties in overcomingany possible workers’ unrest.  Most of them will not able to pay dues and Eid bonusesto the workers before the Eid-ulAdha.

Industry insiders said, every year before the Eid, country witnesses such crisis over the non-payment of wage.The same situation had happened during the last Eid-ul-Fitr. But the crisis has been intensified this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As, this time,the Eid-ulAdha will be observed on the very first day of August, there is no much pressure on the factory owners to pay the salaries of the current month of June.

These owners will pay the salaries of July after the Eid. But half of the garment factory owners still could not pay salaries of June. They are under serious pressure to pay due salaries with Eid bonuses. 

Intelligence agencies have given the list of 347 garment factories that will face severe crisis over due salaries and bonuses.

Arshad Jamal Dipu, vice-president of BGMEA, told that an application was submitted to the finance ministry for getting funds as easy-term loans. 

He also claimed that many factory owners are not in a position to pay the salary-bonus due to the Corona crisis. If the government provides loans, it will be possible to paythe salary-bonus to the workers, he added.

Dipualso admitted that a government intelligence agency has given a list of 347 factories to various organisations, including the BGMEA and BKMEA, warning that problems will crop up over the non-payment of salaries and bonuses in these factories before the Eid. 

“But we have found that most of the lists they have given to us are not the BGMEA members. Mostly are small and medium factories. However, there are many BGMEA member factories too. These factories will face serious crisis with salaries and bonuses”, he added.

Industrial police also submitted a list of the factories to the BGMEA and BKMEA.  The list mentioned names of 35 to 40 factories of the BGMEA and BKMEA.

Industry insiders said most of the RMG factories will face crisis over the non-payment of June wages and Eid bonuses.

Touhidur Rahman, a labor leader, said, if the salary-bonus is not given before the Eid, the situation may go out of control.

He also warned that several factories in the capital Dhaka, Narayanganj and Gazipur may be closed before the Eid keeping wages and allowances unpaid.