145 factories at risk of unrest over due salaries, bonuses: Report

RMG Times
বৃহস্পতিবার, এপ্রিল ২০, ২০২৩
  • শেয়ার করুন

The associations of garment and knitwear manufacturers as well as the law enforcement agencies have been closely watching 145 factories as they are a risk of worker unrest overdue salaries and bonuses ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Two law enforcement agencies jointly prepared the report and filed it to relevant ministries on 16 April.

Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), and factory owners said they were aware of the report and have taken initiatives to clear all arrears and bonuses by 20 April.

According to the report, two of the factories at the risk of worker unrest are in Dhaka city, 22 across Dhaka district, and 72 – the highest – in Gazipur district.

Moreover, 27 such factories are located in Narayanganj, 20 in Chattogram and two in Mymensingh.

BKMEA Vice-President Fazlee Shamim Ehsan acknowledged that a number of factories are struggling to pay their workers ahead of Eid as they have been going through a financial crisis. The crisis arose as most of the factories have been running their units below their production capacity.

BKMEA is closely monitoring these factories and trying to assist the factory owners to solve their problems, said Fazlee Shamim Ehsan.

He said, “Generally we assist them to secure financial support from banks. We also talk with the worker leaders if they make any illogical demands.”

Recently workers of a factory demanded an 11-day holiday for Eid-ul-Fitr. The association representatives have been able to convince them it is not logical, said the BKMEA vice-president.

He said every year at least a couple of factories face difficulties to manage funds to pay workers before Eid, but they somehow manage to pay workers before the deadline in the end. He expressed hope that this year too every worker will go home with salary and bonus to celebrate the joyful event with their near and dear ones.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said factory owners will be able to pay workers’ salaries and bonuses before the Eid vacation as the finance ministry has already released Tk1,000 crore from its cash incentive in favour of exporters.

He also expressed hope that commercial banks will deposit the money to factory owners’ accounts by tomorrow (Tuesday) as the Bangladesh Bank already disbursed it.

Faruque Hassan also said like previous years, their monitoring teams are observing the industry situation to prevent any unwanted situation before Eid vacation.

Tamim Mahmud Rinku, managing director of Adiyat Apparels Limited which is in risk of workers’ unrest, told TBS he has paid workers’ salaries for March, but has not paid for overtime and Eid bonuses yet. The factory paid the executives’ salaries up to February, as their salaries for a month is paid after the 20th of the next month.

“We are trying to clear all the dues before Eid,” said Tamim Mahmud Rinku.

455 RMG units yet to pay March salaries

As many as 455 garment factories under BGMEA and the BKMEA have not paid their workers’ salaries for March yet, according to the data of the Industrial Police.

As per the data, so far 1,387 BGMEA member factories out of 1,631 and 489 BKMEA members out of 700 have paid salaries for March.

About 66% of garment factories – including 1,111 BGMEA members and 408 BKMEA members – have provided festival bonuses to their workers.

The data also mentioned that 7,456 RMG, textile, BEPZ, jute mills and other factories out of 9,616 have paid workers’ salaries for March. This means, 2,160 industries have not paid the workers’ salaries for March as of Monday.

Besides, 6,399 (66.55%) industries out of 9,616 have not paid festival bonuses to their workers according to the Industrial Police.