Factory owners agree to pay apparel workers by July 26

Staff Correspondent

Apparel factory owners on Tuesday agreed to pay the workers partial wages of current month and festival allowance by July 26 ahead of Eid.
‘The factory owners have agreed to pay apparel workers partial wages of the current month along with festival allowance by July 26 so that all of them could celebrate Eid with their families in a better manner,’ state minister for labour Mujibul Haque told reporters after he held a meeting with the factory owners and labour leaders at the secretariat.
He said, the owners would decide how much they will pay as Eid bonus according to their abilities since the labour law says nothing about it.
Representatives from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association assured the government and the labour leaders that they would help factory owners in paying the wages and festival allowances to the workers by the deadline.
The minister called upon the bus companies not to force Eid time home goers, particularly the workers to pay additional fares.
Three-day public holiday for the Eid celebrations is likely to begin on July 28.
The industrial police in a report on Thursday cautioned the government in its report that labour unrest might flare up in 506 apparel factories at Ashulia, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chittagong before Eid on the demand of wages and festival allowance.
Most of the labour groups have been  demanding payment of arrears, wage of current month and festival allowance before the 20th Ramadan,  that is July 19.
On the question of labour unrest breaking out in the factories not paying the wages before Eid, Mujib said that the government would help if any factory owner seeks cooperation in paying the ’ wages and festival allowances before the deadline to avert any untoward incident in the export-oriented apparel industry.
BKMEA’s first vice-president Mohammed Hatem said, the Department of Inspection of Factories and the establishment with representatives from BGMEA and BKMEA had formed a control room to address the labour issues facing the RMG sector so that no untoward incident could occur before Eid.
He also said that if necessary the two associations of the owners would help factory owners in clearing the wages and allowances before the deadline.
Leaders of the National Workers’ Federation at a protest rally in front of the National Press Club demanded payment of festival allowance equal to one month’s basic wage for each worker before Eid.
NWF general secretary Amirul Haque Amin said that most of the garment factory owners usually avoided paying  festival allowance to the wokers.

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