Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan has expressed sincere thanks to all the entrepreneurs of the garment industry for their wholehearted efforts to ensure a happy Eid-ul-Fitr by making payments to workers despite having various difficulties.
He also extended thanks and gratitude to the Ministers of Road Transport and Bridges, the Commerce Ministry, Home Minister, State Ministers for Shipping, State Minister for Labour and Employment, the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, the law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, labour leaders and journalists for their cooperation in ensuring that garment workers can happily celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr with their near and dear ones.
Earlier, BGMEA brought around 450 garment factories, which might face difficulties in paying their workers, under close monitoring and assisted them in solving their problems.
At the direct intervention of BGMEA, payments to workers in 26 factories were ensured. BGMEA held discussions with the workers, owners and federation leaders, and the payment problems were resolved either by selling factories, machinery or talking to the banks concerned, said a press release.
Some factories were vandalized demanding advance salary of 15-20 days for the month of April and additional leave, and the demands were not in accordance with the laws.
It was the government decision to pay the full March salary and festive allowance to the workers before Eid. But, the workers demanded the salary for the first 15 days of the month of April in advance. According to the Labour Law, salaries for April are to be paid within the first seven working days of the next month – that is within 7th May.
If the employer is willing and able, they may provide advance pay, but they are not obligated to do so. Despite difficulties, 1,768 factories (82.19%) paid advance salaries for the month of April.
The release said some factories were vandalized demanding extra leave (11/12 days leave) outside of the conventional trend. So-called labour leaders instigated vandalism in the factories by spreading rumours. However, with everyone's cooperation, the problems were resolved properly.
The release said respecting the government decision and the request of BGMEA, garment factories have started giving leave to their workers on the occasion of Eid in phases which has started on Apr 16 and will continue up to Apr 20.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan expressed thanks to the Governor of Bangladesh Bank and the managing directors of the scheduled banks for keeping banks open during holidays for facilitating salary-bonus payment in RMG factories.
He also thanked EPB, Chittagong Port, Chittagong Customs House, ICD Kamalapur, Dhaka Customs, Mongla Customs, Benapole Customs, Pangaon Customs House and Customs Bond Commissionerate Offices of Dhaka and Chattogram for keeping their offices open during the public holidays to ensure the smooth running of the country's import-export activities, including the export-oriented garment industry.