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Stakeholders must way out of labour unrest in RMG before Eid

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20th-Jul-2020       
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THE industrial police have identified 790 industrial units, including 514 readymade garment and textile factories being at the risk of facing labour unrest over non-payment of wages and festival allowances to their workers before the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha. The government agency has recently prepared the list of the factories in six industrial zones under its jurisdiction and sent the list to the Home Ministry. Every sector is undergoing hardship like the labourers of the sector, and the RMG is at the worst for its low salary and a high number of labours. The government should reset the national priority as the Coronavirus has put many people's lives upside down.
Different labour rights bodies have demanded that festival allowances should be distributed 7 to 10 days before the Eid-ul-Azha likely to be observed on August 1. The labour bodies also demanded wages of July and other arrears before Eid. Bangladesh Trade Union Sangha on Monday demanded wages and festival allowances of workers seven days before Eid. The labour leaders said the government and employers would have to bear the responsibility of labour unrest if any awkward situation takes place centering the wages and allowances before Eid. They urged the government to take initiative so that factory owners pay their workers in time. Labour leaders claimed that wages of June remained unpaid in many garments factories. They demanded festival allowances equivalent to one month basic and clear wages of June and July before Eid.
RMG sector is the largest sector that employs most after agriculture and earns the highest foreign currency. The government since the outbreak of the pandemic has announced several schemes to rejuvenate the sector but most of them are soft loans. We ask the government to come up for livelihood for the poor and avert the conversion of new poor by supporting RMG workers, not the owners. If the labours live, the industry will live. The government can postpone large mega projects that are luxury in the present context considering basic needs of people. If the citizens get the support they will change the economy.

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