The government on Monday once again urged the readymade garment factory owners not to terminate workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic as factory authorities started extensive retrenchment of labourers after Eid-ul-Fitr.
State minister for labour Monnujan Sufian in a meeting with the representatives of factory owners at her ministry made the request, meeting sources said.
The ministry held the meeting against the backdrop of widespread retrenchment of workers in the RMG sector despite repeated calls from the ministry for not to do so during the pandemic.
The state minister also instructed the factory owners to pay the workers their dues saying that the wages of May remained outstanding in many factories.
The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments has placed a list of 24,860 workers, who lost their jobs after eid, in the meeting, sources said.
The ministry officials said that the workers were retrenched from 80 RMG factories from May 27 to June 20.
The inspection department also placed a list of 103 RMG factories where the workers’ wages of May remained outstanding till June 20.
According to a source, a total of 1,624 apparel factories in the country are making direct exports and 103 units of them did not pay workers their wages of May.
All the factories are the members of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the source said.
In the meeting the state minister also instructed the factory owners to pay the arrears to their workers, DIFE inspector general Shibnath Roy told New Age after the meeting.
‘The government does not want to see workers fired by the factories while we have requested the owners on several occasions not to cut jobs. But the coronavirus pandemic has created a difficult time for all and factory owners are failing to pay wages to workers due to lack of orders,’ he said.
Labour secretary KM Abdus Salam, BGMEA representative Mansur Khaled, Sramik League president Fazlul Haque Montu and the representatives of different ministries and departments of the government attended the meeting.
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