Over 500 industrial units across the country are vulnerable to labour unrest over payment of wages and festival allowances to workers before Eid-ul-Azha, according to the industrial police sources.
The industrial police have found 522 industrial units are at risk of facing problems over the payments and more than 80 per cent of the units are readymade garment factory, the sources said.
Industrial police officials said that they found 125 factories facing the problem in Dhaka and Ashulia zone, 190 factories in Gazipur zone, 74 in Chittagong zone, 85 factories in Narayanganj, 37 units in Mymensingh zone and 11 factories in Khulna zone.
Senior officials of industrial police said that unrest might erupt in the factories centring non-payment of wages and allowances, additional work pressure ahead of Eid and sudden closure of factories without paying dues.
Industrial police has started dialogues with factory authorities so that no untoward situation is created due to non-payment of workers’ wages and allowances in the industrial areas ahead of Eid, the sources said.
The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, however, said that some 261 factories were at risk of facing problem over payment of wages and festival allowances to workers before the upcoming Eid.
The DIFE officials said that they were closely monitoring the units and working to avert any possible troublesome situation in the units.
Out of the 261 units, 90 are located in Dhaka, 35 in Narayanganj, 95 in Gazipur, 20 in Narsingdi, 10 in Mymensingh, 9 in Chittagong and 2 in Tangail.
Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president SM Mannan Kochi said that they were monitoring more than 1,000 RMG factories over the payment issue and he hoped that the trade body would be able to resolve most of the problems before Eid.
‘We have already settled a problem raised at Ananta Clothing Ltd, located in Dhaka city. The factory owner wants to relocate his unit to Adamjee EPZ but workers are not willing to go there and we have asked the factory owner to pay workers as per the labour law,’ Kochi said.
He added that the workers received lawful benefits from the factory on Monday.
Labour rights groups have been raising their voices demanding full payment of monthly wages for the month of August and festival allowance to the workers by August 16.
Meanwhile, the labour ministry has instructed factory owners to pay festival allowance by August 16 and called for partial payment of wages for the month by August 19.
Garment workers and labour leaders of Garments Sramik Adhikar Andolan, a platform of 12 organisations, on Monday rallied in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka demanding payment of monthly wages for August and festival allowance by the 16th of this month.
They also called for stopping workers’ repression in industrial zones and announcing TK 16,000 as minimum monthly wage by September.
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