The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has agreed to reopen garment factories in Ashulia from Friday, three days after it announced their closure amid worker agitation over a minimum wage.
The BGMEA decided to revokeits decision after a meeting with the labour minister, ministry officials and workers’ leaders at the ministry Thursday afternoon.
Labour minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju chaired the meeting.
Emerging from the meeting, BGMEA president Atiqul Islam called upon the owners of the factories in Ashulia to open their factories today and said the working hours would be considered as overtime.
Sources at the meeting saidthe minister and workers’ leaders requested the BGMEA to open the factories for the welfare of the workers.
In the wake of labour unrest, the BGMEA on Monday decided to keep all the factories inthe Ashulia area in Savar closed for an indefinite period from Tuesday due to“security concerns.”
He also said the workers would not be paid while production was suspended, as the decision was made under Section 13 (A) of the Labour Act.
Justifying their decision, Atiqul said: “We can’t operate the factories any more. With our back pushed against the wall, we were forced to take the harsh decision of shutting down the factories.”
Atiqul alleged that a "vested interest" was conspiring to destabilise the RMG sector with destructive activities.
He urged RMG workers to uniteto foil the plots to destroy the sector.
Earlier on Monday, in the wake of labour unrest, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) decided to keep all the factories at Ashulia, Savar closed for an indefinite period from Tuesday for security concerns.