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Home Minister: RMG workers cannot leave workplaces during Eid holidays

  • Published at 11:40 pm July 16th, 2020
Worker Garments
File photo Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The decision comes in a bid to stop further spread of the Covid-19

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Thursday said apparel workers will not be allowed to leave their workplaces during the upcoming holidays for Eid-ul-Azha in a bid to stop further spread of coronavirus.

He made the announcement during a meeting held to discuss the present situation of the workers, their wage and Eid bonus issues with garment factory owners, trade union leaders, and law enforcement agencies on Thursday.   

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Mohammad Hatem, former vice president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporter Association (BKMEA), said: “The home minister, in the meeting, asked all ready-made garment (RMG) factory owners to announce their Eid vacation schedule in compliance with the government decision of a three-day holiday for Eid.

“This decision of restricting workers from going to their ancestral homes in the Eid holidays has been taken to reduce the chances of them getting infected.”

Meanwhile, the minister also urged factory owners to pay the Eid bonus to their workers and the salary of June before the end of this month.

“Since this month will end just a day before the Eid-ul-Azha holidays begin, factory owners will decide whether they will give out salaries for the month of July after discussing with the workers and considering their funds,” said Nahidul Islam Noyon, secretary of Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation (SGSF) quoting the home minister.

According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) data, as of Thursday, a total of 1,465 RMG factories have paid their workers for June, while workers of 461 factories are yet to receive their salaries.   

Although factory owners have agreed to pay Eid bonuses to their workers, it is still not clear how much they will get paid.

“As the sector is going through a crucial time due the Covid-19 outbreak, the amount which will be given as a bonus for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha will be similar to what the workers got during Eid-ul-Fitr,” said the former BKMEA vice president.

Among others, BGMEA President Rubana Huq, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed, leading apparel exporters, and several trade union leaders were present at the meeting.