SUBCONTRACTING RMG FACTORIES

Wage, festival allowance before Eid uncertain

Moinul Haque
A file photo shows employees working at a readymade garment factory in the capital. Uncertainty looms large over the payment of wages and festival allowance of about 8 lakh workers engaged in more than 800 subcontracting factories before Eid-ul-Fitr. — New Age photo

A file photo shows employees working at a readymade garment factory in the capital. Uncertainty looms large over the payment of wages and festival allowance of about 8 lakh workers engaged in more than 800 subcontracting factories before Eid-ul-Fitr. — New Age photo

Uncertainty looms large over the payment of wages and festival allowance of about 8 lakh workers engaged in more than 800 subcontracting factories before Eid-ul-Fitr with  factory owners yet to decide on payment.
BGMEA leaders claimed that these factories were facing order shortage in the current ‘lean period’, while labour leaders said that the owners were looking for excuses not to pay wages and allowance before the Eid.
There are 1,200 subcontracting garment factories in the country and 800 of them are fully dependent on subcontracting, while the rest 400 are directly exporting factory but they also do sub-contract when they don’t have export orders, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
‘We are in fear that untoward situation may erupt in the subcontracting factories before Eid due to lack of payment in time as the companies suffered order crisis,’ BGMEA vice president Shahidullah Azim told New Age on Sunday.
He said that normally the period of May-August is lean time for the garment sector when there is order crisis in the subcontracting factories.
‘We urged the government to instruct the banks to provide advance cash to the garment owners for paying wages and festival allowance before Eid and such advance can be adjusted after getting fund from the buyers,’ Azim said.
He said that it would be very difficult for the owners of subcontracting factories to pay workers before Eid if the banks do not provide special fund to the factory owners.
Sirajul Islam Roni, president of National Garment Workers Employees League said that the owners of most of the subcontracting factories are not willing to pay wages for the month of July to the workers citing order crisis.
There are 500 subcontracting factories in Dhaka and they are yet to decide when they would pay the festival allowance and what would be the amount, he said.
Roni said that very few number of large factories have already paid festival allowance to the workers equal to the one month basic pay.
He said that every year some factory owners who are doing subcontracting pay paltry amount to the workers in the name of Eid bonus and some of the factories do not pay at all.
He urged the government and the BGMEA to take necessary steps to ensure payment of wages and festival allowance to the workers of subcontracting factories to avert unrest in the RMG sector.
KM Ruhul Amin, general secretary of Bangladesh Garment Workers Trade Union Centre, alleged that most of the subcontracting factories do not pay Eid bonus to the workers.
He said that the industrial police were also acting in favour of the factory owners and obstructing workers to raise their voice for festival allowance.
‘If the workers are deprived of wages and festival allowance before Eid, we will wage a movement and the government will have to bear the responsibility of any untoward situation in the sector,’ Ruhul warned.



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