Editorial

Mad rush of returnees

Bring the RMG workers under vaccination immediately


Bangladeshpost
Published : 01 Aug 2021 08:55 PM | Updated : 02 Aug 2021 12:58 AM

Thousands of readymade garment (RMG) factory and export-oriented industry workers continued to return to Dhaka and its adjacent areas like Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj to save their jobs amid Covid-19 spike. 

The government in a circular on Friday said the export-oriented industries would stay out of the purview of the restrictions from 6:00am on Sunday August 1. The owners of RMG factory and export-oriented industry pledged that they would run their factories engaging the workers staying in the capital and would provide a certain portion of salaries to the RMG workers who are staying in different districts.  And they would discourage workers to return to Dhaka.

The government should take

necessary

measures to bring the RMG workers under vaccination immediately

However, it is disconcerting to note that the owners of RMG factory and export-oriented industry did not pay heed to the government’s request, asking their workers to join by Sunday, August 1 at any cost otherwise; they would be terminated. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said that no action would be taken against those RMG workers, who are stuck in their respective places during the countrywide lockdown, for not joining their respective factories. On the other hand, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) claimed that they had instructed the workers not to leave their respective workplaces during Eid holidays as the factories might reopen any time.

The association also urged the RMG factory owners to operate their factories with the workers living nearby the factories. Now the questions are why the owners asked workers to join work by August 1 amid lockdown? Why the owners of the RMG factory and export-oriented industry did not arrange the transportation for their workers who had gone village home to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha?

A flood of people, especially the RMG workers, were seen crossing the Padma River by ferry and speed boats defying the government guidelines to stem the spread of Covid-19.  Needless to mention, such mad rush of people returning to capital Dhaka and its adjacent areas would increase the risk of Covid-19 transmission. A dangerous situation may crop up if the mad rush continues.

The government should take necessary measures to bring the RMG workers under vaccination immediately. We think the RMG factory owners will keep their pledges and would not terminate any worker.