Leaders of different garment workers’ rights bodies on Friday at separate protest rallies in Dhaka called on the government to take steps to ensure payment of workers’ wage and festival allowance by Ramadan 20, or May 26.
Garment Sramik Oikya Parishad, or G-SKOP, a combine of 13 garment workers’ rights bodies and Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre held separate protest rallies in front of the National Press Club to press for their demands for the garment workers’ wages and allowances.
G-SKOP leader Shah Mohammad Abu Zafar said that many of the workers of the garment factories would be deprived from their wage and festival allowance if they were not paid by Ramadan 20, May 26.
The owners of the garment factories promised to pay festival allowance on May 30 and wage on June 2, this would only create scope for the owners to deprive the workers as Eid-ul-Fitr would only be a few days away, Abu Zafar said.
Montu Ghosh, president of Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre demanded that the garment workers must be paid festival allowance equal to the basic pay of one month.
In the past many factory owners paid negligible amount of festival allowance according to their wish, Mantu said.
He demanded separate allocation for the garment workers in the next proposed budget for fiscal 2019-20.
Joly Talukder, general secretary of the organisation, called on the government to give housing facilities and low-price rations of the food and essential items for the garment workers.
‘The garment workers find it difficult to run their families as they receive poor amount of wage,’ said Joly.
More than 45 lakh garment workers, mostly consisting of women, are responsible for earning a high amount of remittance for the country, Joly added.
The organisation announced rallies and procession programmes in the garment industrial belts on the country to press home their demands.
Chaired by Naimul Ahsan Jewel, member secretary of the SKOP, central leaders of G-SKOP, Abdul Wahed, Ahsan Habib Bulbul, Khalequzaman Lipon, Mili Akter and others attended the rally.
The rally was followed by a protest procession, which paraded through different city roads.
Chaired by Mantu Ghosh, central leaders of the GSTUC, Kazi Ruhul Amin, Sadequr Rahman Shamim and others spoke at the rally.
On a separate protest rally, Bangladesh Garment Workers’ Solidarity on Friday demanded festival allowance for garment workers before 26 May and payment of wage on June 1 as the biggest religious festival of the Muslims is likely to be observed on May 5.
The labour rights organisation held separate rallies at labour-prone area including Savar, Ashulia and Mirpur to press their demand, said a press release.
Leaders of the organisation said that a number of factory owners who produce clothes for Western buyers were conspiring not to pay festival bonus to the workers on the pretext of wage hike.
BGWS president Taslima Akhter asked the government to take pragmatic action to ensure wage and festival allowances for workers before Eid-ul-Fitr.
She threatened greater democratic movement if the workers could not enjoy their holidays with family members.
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