Workers stage protests in Dhaka, Ashulia, Gazipur, Narayanganj

50pc of festival allowance before Eid  

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:54, May 17,2020 | Updated: 00:58, May 17,2020


Garment workers stage a sit-in near their factory at Mohakhali in Dhaka on Saturday demanding wage and festival allowance. — Sony Ramany

Thousands of workers from at least two dozens of readymade garment factories in Dhaka city, Ashulia, Gazipur and Narayanganj on Saturday took to the streets and staged demonstrations demanding 100 per cent of wages for April, festival allowances and dues of March.

Workers demonstrations continued in the country’s readymade garment sector in almost every day demanding wages and dues since the reopening of factories on April 26 amid the surge of the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid the continued demonstrations by workers, the government, factory owners and labour leaders on Saturday decided that the workers would get 50 per cent of their festival allowances before Eid-ul-Fitr while the rest of the amount would be paid after Eid. 

A tripartite meeting, presided over by home minister Asaduzzaman Khan and held at Bangladesh Secretariat, made the decision.   

As per the decision, 50 per cent of the basic would need to be paid before Eid and the rest 50 per cent would be paid based on the capability of the factory owners within the next 6 months, a Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association leader said following the meeting.

State minister for labour and employment Monnujan Sufian, among others, attended the meeting.

Nazma Akter, president of Sammilita Garment Shramik Federation, said that although garment factory owners proposed to pay 50 per cent of the basic as festival allowances, the meeting decided that 100 per cent of the basic would have to paid as festival allowances to the workers.

As per the decision, if the factory authorities were unable to pay the full amount now, they would pay 50 per cent before Eid and the rest 50 per cent would be paid after Eid.

Meanwhile, hundreds of workers from seven factories located at Uttara, Banani, Badda and Mirpur in the city on Saturday staged separate demonstrations demanding full wages of April.

Industrial Police source said that workers from 10 RMG factories in Gazipur, five factories in Ashulia and one unit in Narayanganj took to the streets demanding full wages of April, dues of March and festival allowances.

Industrial Police data showed that there were a total of 7,602 industrial units under the jurisdiction of the agency and 2,552 of them paid April wages until Saturday.

Of them, there are 740 BGMEA members, 310 BKMEA-listed units, 142 BTMA mills, 283 BEPZA units and 1,077 non-RMG units.

A total of 334 factories, including 101 RMG units, did not pay wages for March and other allowances until Saturday, of which 101 are RMG factories.

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