87% workers paid, says BGMEA
Garment workers of several factories in the capital, Gazipur and Narayanganj continued demonstrating on the streets on Thursday, demanding payment of their wages.
Workers of at least four to five factories blocked the Airport Road intersection and Kamalapur area in the capital.
They blocked Airport Road around 11am and remained there until 5:00pm, said Airport Police Station's Sub-Inspector Fayjul Islam.
He said they blocked the Airport Road intersection though the garment factories were located in Dakshinkhan area.
Senior police officials handled the matter, he further added.
The government earlier asked the RMG factory owners to pay wages by April 16 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Still, many garment factories have not paid the due wages and salaries of their workers and employees.
Workers of two other garment factories also protested on the roads of Kamalapur area Thursday morning.
Motijheel Police Station's Sub-Inspector Syed Ali said the workers of Binni Garments Ltd and Sarder Garments took to the streets demanding wages for last month.
Later, the garment factories’ owners assured them that they would pay their due wages soon, he added.
Workers continue protest in Gazipur
Workers of at least 8-10 apparel factories protested for their wages in Gazipur's Sreepur upazila.
Protesting workers belonged to factories such as MHC Apparels Ltd in Sreepur's Bhangnahati area, Sawftex Apparels in the same area, KDM Global Apparels Ltd in Saitalia area and more.
Workers of MHC Apparels said they wanted to discuss the issue of getting their wages with the management. But, finding no one at the factory , they began to protest and blocked the nearby Sreepur-Mawna road.
Protests continue in Narayanganj
Workers of at least 10-12 apparel factories protested in front of Chashara Shaheed Minar and BSCIC estate area in Narayanganj on Thursday, demanding payment of their arrear wages.
Protesters were from factories including Unitex Cotton Mills in Fatullah and Fakir Apparels in BSCIC industrial area.
"Many workers have not been paid for the last three months. We went to our factories today (Thursday) as we were supposed to get paid, but the factories were shut and management officials were nowhere to be found," said Alia Begum, a protesting worker of Unitex Cotton Mills.
What BGMEA Says
Meanwhile, 21.59 lakh workers, or 87% of the total 24.72 lakh workers have received last month’s salaries as of yesterday, a deadline set by the government, claimed BGMEA.
On the other hand, 97 factories located in Dhaka and 119 in Chittagong are on the process to pay wages.
“As of today (Thursday), we have been able to pay wages to our 87% workers. The rest factories are small and medium which do not work for reputed brands,” BGMEA President Rubana Huq told Dhaka Tribune.
“We are going through such a time, when buyers are canceling orders, delaying payment, suspending payments and asking for discounts,” said Rubana.
Amid lock-down and suspension of transportation, it was very challenging for factory owners to pay workers timely, she said, adding that she was hopeful of completing by April 20-22.
Meanwhile, 565 knitwear factories out of 877 under the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have also paid workers’ wages for the month of March as of Thursday.
Raihanul Islam Akand from Gazipur and Shamima Rita from Narayanganj also contributed to this report