RMG owners must pay salary, bonus before Eid

Staff Correspondent

The commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Thursday asked garment factory owners to pay the salaries and bonuses of their workers before Eid-ul-fitr.
‘The owners must pay the salary and bonus before Eid as the government does not want any chaos in the industrial sector before the festival,’ Tofail told reporters after a meeting with EU Ambassador to Dhaka Willium Hanna.
He said the government was taking initiatives to pay the salaries of the employees of Tazreen garments as the owner of the factory is behind bars and the workers are demanding their pay and perks.
Tofail, responding to a question, said foreign investors will not oppose the move to introduce trade union in the country’s export processing zones.
‘We have approved the EPZ Labour Act, 2014, at the cabinet meeting, after consulting with foreign investors in the EPZs,’ Tofail told reporters.
He said the new act was approved to establish labour rights and allow workers to form unions in the factories inside the EPZs. The act was included in the action plan of the US as a prerequisite to get GSP restored.
Hanna said Bangladesh has made some progress in upgrading the factories and improving workers rights, after the Rana Plaza collapse.
‘Further work is urgently required in line with Compact commitments. Additional inspectors need to be trained, recruited and be able to work. Bangladesh’s ability to ensure safety and health at work as well as freedom of association and collective bargaining must continue to improve,’ Hanna told reporters.
Implemented regulations need to be adopted swiftly and further amendments to the legislation are necessary in line with ILO recommendations, the Ambassador added.
‘New legislation must be implemented effectively. Bangladeshi industry also should keep to its commitments. Working conditions must improve in practice, and workers must be free to organise and exercise their right to collective bargaining without fear of anti-union discrimination, harassment, intimidation or harm,’ he further said.

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