All garment workers might not receive their salaries and allowances by August 24, the deadline set by the ministry of labour and employment for apparel factory owners to clear their payroll for Eid-ul-Azha.
At least 45 factories, mostly small and medium, are at risk of failing to pay their workers even before Eid-ul-Azha, said Sirajul Islam Rony, garment workers' representative at the minimum wage board.
The names of the factories were forwarded to the ministry on Wednesday, he added.
Nearly 1,000 factories may pay workers two or three days before Eid-ul-Azha, which is expected to take place on September 1 or 2. However, at least 1,500 factories would pay their workers within the deadline, or a day or two after, according to Rony.
At present, about 4.4 million workers are employed in the 4,000 garment factories in Bangladesh. Most of the workers are migrants from rural areas and they head to their village homes to celebrate Eids with their loved ones.
The workers get a three-day public holiday during the festival and owners make the payments area-wise.
“I can assure you that no worker will leave the capital without getting his or her wages and bonuses before the Eid festival,” said Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
The payment may be one or two days past the deadline set by the labour ministry as owners also need to manage the money, he said.
The BGMEA is monitoring 10 factories that might fail to pay their workers before Eid.
“We have been in talks with those owners to make arrangements such that the workers are paid on time. Our target is to pay every worker before Eid,” Babu added.
The decision to pay the workers' dues for the month by August 24 was taken in a meeting on Wednesday between Mujibul Haque Chunnu, state minister for labour and employment, and the factory owners, trade union leaders and other stakeholders. The minister asked the owners to clear all dues before Eid to avoid any kind of labour unrest.
Chunnu also advised the owners to take turns to announce holidays to avoid traffic congestion that invariably takes place every year.