The BGMEA yesterday extended the deadline for Tuba Group workers to collect their two months' salaries to Thursday after requests from many workers, who were held off at their factories.
The garment makers' platform initially asked the workers to come between 9am and 6pm yesterday to its headquarters at Karwan Bazar to pick up their salaries, but only about 583 of the 1,458 workers managed to get there.
“Many workers were unable to come to the association office to draw their salaries as a vested quarter is playing games with innocent workers,” Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said at a press conference.
He said the workers could not collect their ID cards from factories as they were caught up at Badda's Hossain Market that houses three factories of the group.
The BGMEA chief also said the management of Tuba Group will pay salary for the remaining month on August 10.
“We expect Tuba Group will pay all their dues to worker since its owner, Delwar Hossain, was freed from jail on bail,” he said.
Salary distribution at the BGMEA office was delayed due to rainfall, eventually starting at 11:05 am. The BGMEA authorities also made announcement about the wage distribution schedule by megaphone in North Badda area.
Lipy, a 32-year-old worker of Tuba Textile Mills, was one of the workers who made it to the BGMEA office yesterday and received Tk 13,000 as two months' wages.
“I did not face any pressure for coming to the association office. I need the money urgently to clear my house rents and food bills. That's why I have come.”
Belal Uddin, a 45-year-old operator of Tayeb Design Ltd, echoed the same. “I have come here willingly.
No-one has forced me.” He got Tk 14,000 as wages for the months of May and June. He still has one month's salary plus Eid bonus outstanding, which comes to Tk 11,500.
The workers of five garment units of Tuba Group have continued hunger strike since July 28, demanding payment of arrears, overtime bills and Eid bonuses.