Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Trade unions push for RMG pay

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Dhaka, Export and Import, RMG and textile by Sherpa Hossainy on August 28, 2011

Published in The Independent on 17 August 2011

Read the article on Independent website

Digital print edition

Different workers’ platform and trade unions demanded disbursement of garment workers’ salaries and bonuses before August 25 in a tripartite meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting was held between the government, owners and representatives of workers of the readymade garment (RMG) sector to plan peaceful disbursement of salaries and bonuses among workers before the Eid-ul-Fitr.

The sector trade body, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), initiated the talks.

The trade union leaders expressed satisfaction over the current relationship between the owners and the labourers and lauded the government efforts to keep stable situation in the factories.

They said there should be meetings between the owners in every factory to let the labourers know when they will get paid, how long they will work, and when they will have their vacation.

The trade union leaders said there are some factories that are not BGMEA or BKMEA members, and reluctant to follow BGMEA decisions.

“They could create some sporadic incidents that could create widespread problems,” a leader said.

Shajahan Khan, minister for shipping, said that previously there had been labour unrest because of untimely wage payment.

Selim Osman, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), said that instead of confining the salary disbursement within August 25, the issue should be settled by mutual understanding among the owners and the labourers.

“There is power crisis, the roads are bad and shipments are delayed, so owners are also not in a favourable position; so giving two salaries and one bonus within a month is tough,” he said.

Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters Association Bangladesh, said the banks should be kept open on Friday and Saturdays, so that the shipments, LCs and the transactions can take place and the labourers can be paid in time.

Israfil Alam, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on labour ministry, said, “There are 50,000 factories, some random incidents may occur but don’t try to spread it like a plague and destroy the industry,” he said.

Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of BGMEA, said, “We highly value relation between the labourers and factory owners and we reach a consensus in line with their demands and owners’ capability.”

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