The government on Sunday asked the export-oriented apparel factory owners to pay festival allowances and dues to their workers before August 28 to avoid any ‘untoward situations’ in the industrial belts mainly located in Dhaka and Chittagong during Eid-ul-Azha.
The factory managements were also requested to declare staggered holiday for their workers and employees to check rush of passengers on highways, trains and waterways on the eve of the festival as the three-day public holiday for Eid is scheduled to begin on September 1.
The directives came in a home ministry meeting on law and order at the secretariat on the occasion of Eid.
‘We have asked the readymade garments owners to clear workers’ festival bonus and arrears before August 28,’ home affairs minister Asaduzzaman Khan told a news briefing after the meeting.
He said that the factory owners were also asked to hold talks with their workers to fix dates of payment of their wages as well.
The business community leaders including those from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and heads of law enforcement agencies, among others, attended the meeting to maintain order during the Eid, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims.
The meeting asked the law enforcement agencies to enhance surveillance over the labour-intensive areas in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj to pre-empt any possible labour unrest over non-payment of wages and allowance before the Eid.
The home minister said additional measures were being taken to ensure security in Dhaka and other areas during the Eid.
Asaduzzaman said effective steps would be taken to remove traffic congestions in and around the city so that home goers could reach their destinations with ease.
He said special measures would remain in place to ensure security at the Eid congregations across the country.
The home minister said movement of goods-carrying vehicles including trucks and trailers on highways were banned during three days before Eid to ensure easy movement of vehicles carrying homebound people and avoid long tailbacks on the highways.
Vehicles carrying emergency medicines, foods, export items would remain out of the restriction, the minister added.
He said the movement of sand-laden vessels on river routes would also be banned during the Eid.
Industrial police has, meanwhile, identified 385 industrial units, including 300 apparel factories, across the country vulnerable to labour unrest over the payment of wages and festival allowances to workers before Eid-ul-Azha.
Industrial police submitted the list of the factories to the labour ministry on Wednesday saying that the factories were suffering from shortage of fund that might cause labour unrest.
It suggested the government take necessary step to avert possible untoward situation in the industrial sector over the payment of wages and festival allowances before Eid.
There are over 5,800 apparel factories, mostly in Dhaka, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chittagong, which employ over 40 lakh workers, mostly women.
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