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Dhaka Tribune

Labour unrest likely at garment factories before Eid

According to an intelligence report, labour unrest is feared at more than a hundred garment factories in Ashulia, Savar, and Tongi

Update : 23 May 2018, 10:55 PM

Authorities have beefed up surveillance in and around garment factories in Dhaka and other regions of the country over possible labour unrest before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Over the last several years, the export-oriented sector has witnessed unrest over payment of salaries and bonuses before Eid.  

To avoid any untoward incident, the government and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exports Association (BGMEA) strengthened security measures at garment factories located in Ashulia, Tongi, Narayanganj, Gazipur, and Chattogram. Intelligence officials and industrial police are also on alert, reports Bangla Tribune. 

Intelligence report on possible unrest

According to an intelligence report submitted to the home ministry, labour unrest is feared at more than a hundred garment factories in Ashulia, Savar, and Tongi. 

In another report submitted by the Bangladesh Industrial Police, it is anticipated that factory owners in Ashulia, Tongi, Narayanganj, and Chattogram would be in trouble for not paying salaries and allowances to workers on time, which might lead to labour unrest. 

If workers take to the street over their demands for dues, law and order will deteriorate in these areas, said the report.

Measures by government, garment authorities  

Sources at the home ministry said intelligence officials have already been asked to stay alert for any possible unrest. Factory owners have also been directed to take measures so that workers cannot launch a movement. 

The government and BGMEA have divided Dhaka into 15 zones in a bid to ensure that workers get their salaries and bonuses ahead of Eid. 

The crisis control room will also be working centrally and in other regions as it has done in previous years. 

Factory owners are going to face pressure in June as they will have to pay the workers almost three months at once —salaries for May, Eid bonus, and half their salary for June, said BGMEA officials.

However, BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman ruled out any possibility of labour unrest. 

“There is no possibility of labour unrest. Even then we are on alert. Factory owners have been asked to resolve all crises.”

Siddiqur, who is now in Russia, said all garment factories are not members of the association. “We cannot take responsibility for non-member factories.”

Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exports Association of Bangladesh, said there might be minor problems in some factories but efforts would be made to solve them before Eid. 

“We hope this year there will be no labour unrest over payment of salaries and bonuses at the factories,” said Murshedy, also an ex-BGMEA president. 

Authorities at the Ashulia police station said there is no labour unrest in the area yet, but they are observing the situation round the clock. 

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