• Saturday, Sep 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:39 am

Thousands of RMG workers return to Dhaka

This photo taken on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway shows people try to return to Dhaka on Sunday, April 26, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

While workers are confused deciding whether to follow government directives or factory owners’ orders, the managing body of these factories are claiming they are maintaining safety protocols to ensure the safety of workers

Thousands of ready made garment (RMG) workers are returning to their factories in Mymensingh, Narayanganj, and Gazipur of Dhaka division, amid the nationwide shutdown to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

From Mymensingh, hundreds of RMG workers have been entering Dhaka through Shambhuganj, Pat Gudam Bridge, and Digharkanda of the district, since Sunday morning.

While police are restraining them as they attempt to enter the capital, the workers say that if they do not join their respective posts by Sunday they will lose their jobs.

The workers said transport is shut down so they are walking miles to reach their factories, disregarding garments’ owners directives, but police are restraining them, adding to their miseries.

“We are directed by the government not to allow anyone to enter the capital as it may lead to a surge in communal infection,” said Kotwali Police OC Mahmudul Islam.

Meanwhile, the workers were frustrated as this is the second time the respective garment factories directed them to return while the government ordered them to stay at home.

In Narayanganj, half of the factories which previously declared a shut down resumed operations from Sunday, prompting hundreds of workers to return to the district amid the lockdown.

According to police, at least 91 factories are open and operating on a limited scale, which will go into full swing after the whole workforce joins.

While workers are confused deciding whether to follow government directives or factory owners’ orders, the managing bodies of these factories are claiming they are maintaining every protocol to ensure the safety of workers.

In Gazipur, the factories are opening up and have started operating on a limited scale, only engaging workers from adjacent areas, abiding by the WHO protocols since Sunday morning, confirmed factory sources.

On a field visit, it was evident that only the entrance points had handwashing facilities, but the rest of the operation remained the same as before.

The protocols of social distancing are lightly maintained, risking the lives of thousands through communal transmission, workers said.

SM Tarikul Islam, deputy commissioner of Gazipur said: “Law enforcement agents are working day and night to ensure safety measures for workers. The partial operation of the factories is important as well as worker safety. We are looking after the whole operation with utmost concern.”

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