Labour leaders in a meeting in Dhaka on Friday held the government responsible for breaking the Bangladesh Labour Law 2006 by allowing the garment factory owners to pay the arrears beyond seven working days of the next month.
Leaders of Garments Shramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad criticised the state minister for labour and employment, Mujibul Haque Chunnu, as he during a meeting of Crisis Management Core Committee between labour ministry officials and employers on May 29 allowed the employers to pay the wages of May by June 10 and Eid-ul-Fitr bonus by June 14 for the garment workers.
It had become evident that the government took the position against the workers by patronising the employers, the leaders told the meeting in front of the National Press Club.
Quoting Labour Law 2006 which says ‘the wages of every worker shall be paid before the expiry of the seventh day after the last day of the wage period in respect of which the wages are payable,’ the leaders said the state minister had violated the law by his declaration.
A number of labour organisations, including GSKOP, for long time demanded that Eid bonus for RMG workers should be paid by Ramadan 20. But, on May 29, the state minister Mujibul Haque Chunnu asked garment owners to pay Eid bonuses to their workers by June 14 and wage by 10.
The leaders said if the workers get their festival allowance just one or two days before Eid-ul-Azha how they would go home or go shopping for their family.
GSKOP’s joint convener Naimul Ahsan Jewel said every year the RMG workers were forced travel on the roofs of buses, trains and ships and face fatal accidents during Eid holidays as they were paid on the eleventh hour.
He demanded a permanent order on Eid bonus payment for RMG workers which would be similar to that of government employees, who usually get bonus on Ramadan 10.
Leaders also said there were many garment factories that pay festival bonus only when the workers go on demonstrations and there were a few that usually do not pay any bonus to their workers. They warned these employers with dire consequences.
Labour leaders Abdul Wahed, Ahsan Habib Bulbul, Rahima Akter Sathy, Lutfun Nahar Lata and Mohammad Rafique spoke among others.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country