Nearly 1000 readymade garment factories along with the owners and labour organisations are under watch over the apprehension of unrest over the payment of salary and festival allowance ahead of Eid ul Fitr.
The government has earlier directed the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to avert any unwanted situation centering the RMG workers’ salary and Eid bonus.
The government asked the related ministries, intelligence agencies and industrial police to keep and eye on the apparel factories. It also directed the factory owners to pay the salaries and bonuses of the workers before Eid.
Sources said the home ministry, Industrial police, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and several intelligence agencies have penned the list of nearly 1000 factories to monitor the situation.
The intelligence agencies have listed 450 factories while there are around 550 factories in BGMEA’s list.However, the labour leaders claimed the number of factories in question is more than 1,000.
The garment factory owners have failed to keep their promise of paying festival allowances to their workers by the 20th of Ramadan on June 16.
BGMEA sources said the trade body has also formed a committee for closely monitoring the apparel factories those have been suffering from a shortage of funds to pay their workers.
Around 10-11 factories are still vulnerable, sources said.
BGMEA, however, claimed that about 70 percent RMG factories had already paid festival allowances to their workers, while labour leaders and Industrial Police claimed that very few factories started paying the allowances and the remaining RMG units were yet to decide when they would start paying the allowances.
At a meeting of the Crisis Management Core Committee on the RMG sector held on May 29 at the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments’ office in the capital, BGMEA vice-president Mohammad Nasir said the factory owners would pay festival allowances to their workers by 20th of Ramadan.
He also said the factory owners would make a partial payment of June wages after consulting with their respective workers before Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest religious festivals for the Muslims.
State minister for labour Mujibul Haque chaired the meeting.
“Some of the compliance factories, nearly around 40 percent of the RMG units, have paid festival allowances to their workers as of today (Saturday).” Bangladesh Garment Workers-Employee League president Sirajul Islam Roni told daily sun.
He also expressed hope that the remaining compliance factories would clear their payments by Monday. “There are no problems in the compliant factories,” Roni added.
He, however, alleged that the BGMEA had failed to keep its promises.
“You will hardly find any truth in the statement of BGMEA,” he alleged, expressing fear that some of RMG factories might face labour issues centering the payment of festival allowances.
“The number of factories in question would be more than 1000, must of them are mid level and small factories,” he added.
Roni also claimed that the owners of those factories are yet to decide on the payment of festival allowances and they are not willing to pay the allowances for the current month (June).
BGMEA vice-president Mohammad Nasir claimed that the RMG factories had started to pay festival allowances and most of their member factories had paid their workers the festival allowances.
BGMEA vice-president also expressed hope that the rest of the factories would pay their workers the festival allowances by 21 June and partial salary of June by 22 June.
According to Industrial Police sources, the factories located at Ashulia paid festival allowances, very few factories in Gazipur, Narayanganj and the Chittagong belt started paying the allowances.
Industrial Police also expressed hope that festival allowances would be paid in 80 per cent of the factories by Monday (June 19).
According to the Industrial Police officials, 25 RMG units in the Ashulia industrial belt, 182 RMG units in the Gazipur industrial belt, 252 RMG factories in Narayanganj industrial belt and 70 units in the Chittagong industrial area might face difficulties in paying the festival allowances.
80 percent of the RMG factories were scheduled to clear the festival allowances by Monday (June 19).