Political parties, labour bodies protest at job cuts in RMG sector

Moloy Saha | Published: 01:13, Jun 06,2020


Different left-wing political parties and labour rights bodies on Friday expressed concerns and opposed job cuts in readymade garment sector.

They made the condemnation against the backdrop of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Rubana Huq’s Thursday comment that staff shedding might take place in the readymade garment sector as the factories were experiencing serious shortage of work orders due to coronavirus situation.

‘The reality was unexpected for the sector that workers will have to face terminations but entrepreneurs are helpless as 99 per cent of factories are running with only 55 per cent capacity,’ the BGMEA president said at an online press conference on the eve of the inauguration of COVID-19 laboratory for RMG workers.

Socialist Party of Bangladesh general secretary Khalequzzaman, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-Jasad president Hasanul Haq Inu, general secretary Shirin Akhter and Revolutionary Workers Party general secretary Saiful Huq in separate press statements condemned the plan to shed staff.

As the government had given them incentives and loans at only 2 per cent interest during corona-time to run the factories, the job cuts will not be accepted, the left leaders said.

Jasad president Hasanul Huq Inu and general secretary Shirin Akhter in a statement termed the BGMEA president’s comment on job cuts ‘politically motivates and inciting one’.

Leaders of labour right and garment workers’ rights bodies also condemned the plan of job cuts.

They warned that they would go for tough movements to compel the garment factory owners to refrain from job cuts.

The Bangladesh Federation of Labour on Friday formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club, demanding stopping of job cuts in garment factories.

Sultana Begum, president of the organisation, general secretary Nazim Uddin and others spoke at the rally.

Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre president Mantu Ghosh and general secretary Joly Talkuder, in a press statement called on the BGMEA leaders to refrain from job cuts during corona-time.

BGWTUC will hold a protest rally in front of the National Press Club on Saturday to press its demands.

Garment Sramik Samhati president Taslima Akhter and general secretary Julhasnayeen Babu in a press statement also reject the proposal of the BGMEA and warned tougher movements if the job cuts were not stopped immediately.

Garments Odhikar Andolan, a combine of eight garment workers’ organisations, will hold a press conference at Bangladesh Shishu Kalya Parishad auditorium on Topkhana Road at 11:00am to announce its programmes opposition staff shedding in factories.

Bangladesh Trade Union Centre president Sahidullah Chowdhury and general secretary Wajed-ul Islam Khan also opposed the plan of job cuts.

Jatiya Sramik Federation acting president Quamrul Ahsan and general secretary Amirul Haque Amin, and leaders of Garments Sramik Front, Bangaldesh Poshak Shilpa Sramik Federation also opposed the decision.  

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