According to BGMEA and BKMEA, Eid bonus has been given in most of the factories. Preparations are underway to pay half of this month's salary. These two organisations of factory owners admit, some factories have financial problems. Will the workers of the factories that have problems starve or won’t celebrate Eid?
According to Prothom Alo, the garment sector turned around quite well after the pandemic. According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), garment exports amounted to 31.45 billion in the 2020-21 fiscal. The growth is 12.55 per cent. In the first nine months (July-March) of the current 2021-22 fiscal year, exports have been close to last year, amounting to 31.42 billion. This is 33.61 per cent more than the same period last year. Factory production and exports have been relatively low in the last two years due to coronavirus. So at that time there was a valid reason to halt the salary or bonus. Why the workers will not be paid even after exporting a record amount this time?
Workers will not be able to either celebrate Eid or go home unless they receive 15 days' wages and festival allowance by Saturday this month. This situation is not only in the readymade garment sector, but also in many other sectors where the owners of service providers including factories and public transport did not pay arrears or bonus. It had been seen in the past that if a factory owner failed to pay the wages of the workers, the BGMEA and BKMEA would pay on behalf of it. We expect of their intervention again. We have to make arrangements so that the workers are not deprived of the joy of Eid.
Where employers are making millions every year, even getting stimulus from the government, why should workers be deprived of their fair share? All the dues including festival bonus and arrears of salary should be paid before Eid.