Industrial police chief informs BGMEA
Fresh unrest in apparel sector feared over salary
There is an apprehension of fresh trouble in the apparel sector as Industrial Police has identified 128 garment factories which may fail to pay the workers before the Eid.
Intelligence men of the special police force, established in 2010 to provide security to the sector of over US$19 billion, made a list of about 128 garment factories which may fail to clear all payments of workers before the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Azha.
Director General of Industrial Police Abdus Salam in a recent letter to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) requested to take necessary measures to help stem any possible unrest.
The Industrial Police also made a similar list of about 390 factories as vulnerable to violence before the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Of the total, 17 factories have been branded as risky and vulnerable at Ashulia-Savar-Dhamrai industrial hub, home to most of the country’s biggest apparel manufacturers.
At least 67 factories have been found vulnerable in Gazipur-Tongi belt, 31 units in Chittagong areas and the rest in Narayanganj, and Kanchpur region, according to the letter.
Police said they have stepped up patrol and vigilance in the country’s 4,500 plus factories as they fear new protests may ensue since many factories are yet to pay the workers’ arrear wages.
« We are ready and have intensified security measures in the risky units to avert any further trouble before the festival, » the industrial police chief told the FE Friday.
He said they have made the report based on several indicators like last year’s performances of the factories, those who are yet to pay wages of previous months.
He said they shared the findings with the owners’ associations BGMEA and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association (BKMEA), urging them to take necessary preventive measures.
Small and medium factories which work on sub-contract for bigger plants mainly make up the list and protests could spread to large plants if the owners fail to remove workers’ grievances, sources said.
BGMEA Second Vice President Siddiqur Rahman told the FE that they have taken measures with strong monitoring to resolve the problem.
« All the owners were asked to clear all kinds of payments of labourers before the festival to ensure smooth Eid celebration of the community, » he said.
Garment is the country’s largest export earning sector which contributes nearly 80 per cent of the total export earnings. The sector earned $19.08 billion in 2011-2012 fiscal year amid a global financial meltdown.
Presse esclavagiste (Monira Munni, TheFinancialExpress-bd.com, 22 octobre 2012)