Top trade bodies urge owners to clear salaries by April 16
Bangladesh’s top apparel business bodies have asked its members to keep their factories closed through the nationwide shutdown over the coronavirus outbreak to April 14.
The call came on Monday in a joint statement issued by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).
BGMEA President Rubana Huq and BKMEA President AKM Salim Osman in it also requested factory owners to clear salaries of workers by April 16.
However, factories that have “urgent export orders” and producing masks and personal protection equipment (PPEs) can remain open, but have to inform their respective trade bodies, the government’s Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments and the industrial police, added the statement.
The announcement comes after BGMEA chief Rubana late on Saturday urged owners to keep their plants closed until April 11, following criticisms against the trade body for going soft on errant members who kept factories open.
Her call came hours after thousands of workers headed back to Dhaka from different parts of the country to join work the next day, sparking fears of contagion.
The government ordered shutdown of all offices and workplaces for 10 days to stem the spread of the virus from March 26.
It later extended the shutdown, which included the all public transports, until April 11, only to extend it again to April 14 on Sunday.