'During the public holidays, there is no scope for factory lay off . But the garment owners declared layoffs nonetheless'
Trade union leaders on Thursday urged the country's garment manufacturers to withdraw layoffs from the 397 apparel factories.
According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) data, 397 apparel factories have so far been laid off, where about 10 lakh people were employed.
Taking part in a virtual media briefing titled “Covid 19 Workers and Employers of the RMG Sector Facing Crises: Government Initiatives and Way Forward,” they made the call.
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) organized the media briefing, marking the seventh anniversary of Rana Plaza collapse.
“During the public holidays, there is no scope for factory lay off . But the garment owners declared layoffs nonetheless, which should be stopped and withdrawn ,” said National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) president Amirul Haque Amin.
Another leader called for stopping production in factories due to health risk.
“Still many factories are running amid the government-enforced countrywide shutdown, where workers risk getting infected,” Nazma Akter, president of Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation.
On the other hand, many workers are also losing their jobs. The factory owners must immediately stop firing and declaring layoffs, as well as reinstate the terminated workers, she added.
She also urged the factory owners to negotiate with the trade union leaders to face the challenges amid coronavirus pandemic.
“During such crisis, layoff is a factory owner's legal right,” said BGMEA Vice-President Arshad Jamal Dipu.
During the layoff, workers enjoy full benefits as per the law, he claimed.