Doubt over resuming production at Tuba Group factories

Staff Correspondent

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president, Md Atiqul Islam, on Sunday said that there was a doubt whether the owners of Tuba Group could resume production at their five apparel factories soon.
‘It might be difficult for the owner to resume production in the factories soon as under the circumstances the company owner had to give wages to the workers by selling land and the machineries of the factories,’ he said at a briefing at the association headquarters in the city.
Atiqul said that labour unrest had taken place in the factories of Tuba Group centring the outstanding wages for three months as the owner were in the jail but the association arranged the wages for two months on August 6 on humanitarian ground and rest of the wages and allowances were paid on Sunday by the factory authority.
‘The factory owner will decide whether he will run the factories or not,’ he said.
At the briefing, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed thanked the association leaders and said it was insignificant that out of 4,000 apparel factories, problem occurred only at one factory.
He said that the Tuba Group owner, Delwar Hossain, was released from jail on bail as per the law and there was no interference of the government but the government put pressure on Delwar to pay the arrears of the workers.
Replying to a query, he said, ‘If the owner fails to run the factories he will have to pay the workers as per the law.’
He, however, criticised the statement of former caretaker government adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman and said they might criticise the government in round tables but could not stop development.
Hossain Zillur Rahman on Saturday said at a dialogue at National Press Club that the government and BGMEA supported them who were amoral and who had political influence.
He had alleged that the BGMEA did not represent the successful entrepreneurs it only stood for the sub-contracting factories who exploit the cheap labour force, and the politically-linked owners.
Tofail said that the association represented 4,000 factory owners and worked for the betterment of 40 lakh workers.
Shipping minister Shahjahan Khan said, ‘There was a deep rooted conspiracy against the apparel sector and it would have been ruined unless we took initiative.’
He said, ‘I doubt whether Hossain Zillur Rahman was involved in the conspiracy.’
State minister for labour Mujibul Haque said that it was not true that the government supported the owner of Tuba Group but government mounted pressure on Delwar to arrange the amount needed for the payment of arrear wages of the workers.
Due to the government pressure the association and the owner of Tuba Group were forced to pay the arrears to the workers, he said.
Atiqul informed that the wages for the month of July and overtime allowances were paid to the workers on Sunday at the association office under the arrangement of the owner of Tuba Group.

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