RMG factories asked to clear workers’ wages before Eid

Staff Correspondent

The government on Sunday asked the export-oriented apparel factory owners to pay wages and allowances to their workers before the Eid-ul-Azha and declare a staggered vacation for them starting from September 21 to check rush of passengers on highways, trains and waterways just a day before the festival.
The home affairs ministry issued the directives at a meeting with the business community leaders including those from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association to maintain order during the Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims.
‘All the readymade garment factory owners have been asked to give the vacation on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha in a staggered manner from September 21 to help check traffic congestions during the festival,’ home affairs minister Asaduzzaman Khan told a press briefing after presiding over the meeting at the secretariat.
He said the RMG factory owners were directed to bring Ashulia industrial belt under close-circuit television camera systems to enhance surveillance over the labour-intensive zone on the outskirt of Dhaka city and thus help the law enforcement agencies to maintain order more effectively during the Eid vacation.
As per intelligence reports placed in the meeting, a few RMG factories might not be able to clear wages and festival allowances before the Eid as those were suffering from fund crisis, said an official who attended the meeting.
The official said the owners wanted to declare the vacation with effect from September 23.  The associations were asked to extend support for the RMG units facing troubles in the payment of wages to their workers.
The home secretary, heads of the law enforcement agencies including police and Rapid Action Battalion and intelligence officials, among others, attended the meeting ahead of the Eid-Ul-Azha, which may be celebrated on September 25 depending on sighting of the moon.
The minister, however, said all have been requested to pay wages and other allowances as per the labour law so that there was no labour unrest over the non-payment of wages in the industrial belts in Dhaka and its surrounding areas of Gazipur and Narayanganj as well as in Chittagong.
There are around 4,500 apparel factories, mostly in Dhaka and Chittagong, which employ over 40 lakh workers, mostly women.

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