After a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday, BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman made the announcement at an emergency press conference at his office in Dhaka.
Siddiqur hoped the workers would rejoin work.
In the wake of workers’ strike in Savar’s Ashulia, owners of 59 RMG factories shut down their manufacturing units in line with Article 13(1) of the Labour Act on December 20.
Siddiqur urged the workers to behave responsibly, saying their contribution helped the RMG sector reach the high level that it is in today.
When asked about workers’ wages, the BGMEA president said they would be paid as per the Labour Act.
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BGMEA President Siddiqur announcing the re-opening of the factories who closed themselves the previous week Dhaka Tribune
According to Article 13/1 of the Labour Act, employers may, in the event of an illegal strike by any section or department of any establishment, close down either wholly or partly such section or department and the striking workers shall not be paid any wages for such a closure.
Talking about cases filed against trade union leaders and workers, Siddiqur said the cases were filed against criminals and it would be settled as per the law of the land.
Replying to another question, he said house rent in Ashulia area – where most workers live – will not be increased in the next three years and if it is raised, the BGMEA will look into the matter and take necessary steps.
Former BGMEA presidents Abdus Salam Murshedy and Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, BGMEA vice-presidents Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu and Mohammed Nasir Hossain were present at the press conference.
Since December 11, several hundreds of RMG workers in Ashulia walked out, demanding revision of their minimum wage. In response to the workers’ stance and since the workers were not on duty, the owners shut down production.