Thursday, January 24, 2019 | ePaper

Pay the workers immediately, let them celebrate the Eid

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NEWS media reported that nearly 40 percent of the garment factories, most of which are small and not members of any trade bodies like the BGMEA or the BKMEA, are yet to pay the workers' salaries or festival bonus although Eid-ul-Fitr is knocking at the door. Most of the 4.4 million garment workers employed in nearly 5,500 factories are scheduled to go back to their village to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones.  But the poorly staffed garment workers with wrecked heart could not enjoy the festival if they are deprived of salary and bonus.
Primarily, a little more than 400 factories, whose employees are from 90 to 300, were listed as doubtful of being able to pay their workers before Eid. Of them, some are yet to pay either the salaries of May or festival bonus. Most of these non-paying factories are not members of the Bangladesh Garment manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association. As a result, it is very difficult to make anybody responsible for realising the payment for workers.
In Gazipur, the owner of Magnet Tex at Sreepur has locked the gate of his factory and fled -- without paying the workers' salaries and bonus. In Narayanganj, the owner of Ritika Fashion Wear at Tanbazar area has been absconding to avoid paying the workers. On May 29, the government instructed factory owners to complete the payment of May by June 10 and festival bonus by June 14.
The factory owners have been delaying payment of salaries and bonus as the workers take off for their villages as soon as receiving the money, hampering production in factories. Primarily, 200 factories in Dhaka and its adjacent areas were listed that may fail to pay their workers timely. However, the number of such factories is declining every day.
Today is the last working day before Eid and we ask the owners to give salary and bonus to the deprived labours even by alternatively arranging. Here, the Labour and Employment Ministry can play a significant role. We hope, the deprived workers will get their dues immediately and get a chance to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones.

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