Tuba workers may not get Eid bonus

Moinul Haque

The workers of apparel factories owned by Tuba Group, who have been on a hunger strike since the day before Eid, are likely to be deprived of festival allowances, on grounds that the law does not provide workers with compulsory entitlement to Eid bonus.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Atiqul Islam on Wednesday said, at a press briefing, that it was ‘completely up’ to the owner of Tuba group whether he would provide Eid bonus to the workers, as there is no specific rule in this regard in the labour law.
After a tripartite meeting between the government, BGMEA and a section of labour leaders, shipping minister Shajahan Khan on Sunday had announced that wages of the workers of five garment factories owned by Tuba Group, for May and June, would be paid on August 6.
Tazreen Fashions, in which at least 117 workers died during a fire accident in November 2012, is one of the five factories owned by Tuba Group. The Minister had further said that wages for July would be paid by August 10 by the factory authorities, while the rest, including festival allowance, would be cleared after the owner, who had been jailed for his culpability in the Tazreen fire, was released.
On Wednesday, the BGMEA president informed that the managing Director of Tuba group, Delwar Hossain,
had been released from jail, and therefore the wages for July will now be paid by the factory authorities.
Queried about the festival allowance, Atiqul said that factories that are profitable and well productive usually provide Eid bonus to workers. He pointed out that ‘production in the factories owned by Tuba Group have been affected because of recent events.’
‘Moreover, the labour law does not contain any clause mentioning festival allowances for garment workers, so the owner of the company has to decide whether he wants to provide Eid bonus,’ he said.
A source close to the events surrounding Tuba Group said the Delwar is likely to apologise to the workers for his ‘inability’ to pay festival allowance.
Delwar had been in jail since February as police filed a homicide case against him in connection with the Tazreen fire. He was released on bail Tuesday night.

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