The production disruption caused due to the global pandemic of coronavirus has left garment workers fearing that the owners will not be able to pay their salaries and bonuses in time before the Eid-ul-Fitr. In this situation, the intelligence agencies of the country are predicting that there might be unrest caused by workers in the coming months.
The garment industries heavily rely on imports from China including machinery, fabrics, yarn, buttons, painting chemicals and raw materials, which account for 70 percent of the total demand. As a result, the production of small and medium garment factories is under threat which might lead to salary cut.
Wage subsidies should be provided for
all RMG workers in these uncertain times
Moreover, due to the spread of pandemic coronavirus foreign buyers are cancelling their work orders. More than half the garments factories in the country are directly involved with exports, meaning the outbreak will likely negatively affect majority of the workers’ salaries.
Meanwhile RMG workers’ leader Bahrane Islam Babar demanded granting leaves to garment workers with full pay fearing the virus outbreak. According to him, spread of the virus will turn catastrophic unless the garments are shut, as they house hundreds of workers under one roof.
In such a situation, the government should mandate temporary closure of all factories. Wage subsidies should be provided to all RMG workers in these uncertain times. Without support from authorities, these workers will be left to fend for themselves. With rising cost of commodities in the market, many families
will suffer greatly and will become unable to put food on the table.
The government must ensure the wellbeing of RMG workers and their families. This sector is one of the driving forces behind the country’s progress. Swift action is needed to protect the rights of the workers and ensure their safety.