A total of 324,684 workers of the readymade garments (RMG) sector have become unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic in Bangladesh. And 1,915 RMG factories have shut down or laid-off workers during this time.

Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) revealed this information at a press conference at National Press Club on Thursday.

A total of 26 thousand workers in 87 RMG factories have been laid off. The authorities laid off many of the workers flouting rules and many of them were not given outstanding salaries-allowances and proper compensation, the speakers alleged.

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Reading out a written statement, BILS advisory council member and Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad’s (SKOP) joint convener Naimul Ahsan Jewel said, garment workers suffered immensely due to misleading decisions about opening and closing of factories and not getting salaries during the lockdown.

Housing crisis during the lockdown, lay-off without any notice and demonstrations for wages have made the workers’ lives worse during this time, Naimul added.

The labour leaders alleged that RMG factories which have trade unions are being shut.

They said the government has taken no initiatives to prevent layoff in factories.

The labour leaders also alleged that most of the factories are not conforming to the required health guidelines to prevent spread of coronavirus.

Secretary general of IndustriAll Bangladesh Council (IBC) Chaina Rahman, president of Bangladesh Federation of Workers Solidarity Ruhul Amin, BILS director Nazma Yasmin, among others, spoke at the press conference.

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