385 factories may default on workers’ wage, bonus: industrial police

Staff Correspondent

The industrial police have identified 385 garment factories where wages and festival allowances, ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, may remain unsettled, leading to unrest among the workers.
A high official of the industrial police said they have been monitoring a total of 3,655 garment factories in Ashulia, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chittagong, and apprehended that labour unrest might take place in some factories as owners are unwilling to pay festival allowances and wages for September.
‘We have already sent a list of 385 factories to the labour ministry last week and asked them to take necessary initiatives,’ he said Monday.
A source in the industrial police said that only 40 per cent of the surveyed factories provided festival allowances to workers by the government deadline on Sunday.
Labour secretary Mikail Shipar, however, disputed the figure provided by industrial police and the said the situation has since improved. ‘The number of at risk factories will not exceed 80,’ he said.
Shipar further said he did not foresee any major trouble in the RMG sector, though, ‘the Tuba Group situation is still problematic.’
‘We asked the owner of the group to meet the lawful demands of the workers before Eid-ul-Azha but he has not responded yet,’ he said.
Shipar said they would file a case against the owner if he failed to clear the Eid dues of workers.
The labour secretary claimed 80 per cent of factories have so far been provided festival allowances, and ‘hopefully nearly 100 factories would clear wages and allowances by October 3.’
He said some factories in Chittagon did not provide festival allowances to workers in general, though wages are regular in those factories.
BGMEA vice president Shahidullah Azim said that almost 100 per cent of their member factories would clear wages and allowances of the workers.

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