• Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuba Group Crisis

Pay by Sunday or face legal action

State minister Mujibul Haque Chunnu warns Tuba owners

Star Business Report
Activists of the ruling Awami League beat up a Tuba Group worker in the capital yesterday as workers demonstrated for arrears. Photo: Amran Hossain
Activists of the ruling Awami League beat up a Tuba Group worker in the capital yesterday as workers demonstrated for arrears. Photo: Amran Hossain

The government will take legal action against Tuba Group should it fail to clear its workers' dues by Sunday, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu said yesterday.

Factory owners have to clear their payroll for a calendar month within the first ten days of the following month as per the labour law, he said at a press conference yesterday at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association's office.

Tuba Group workers are yet to be paid their salaries for the month of July along with Eid bonuses. “We expect Tuba Group will comply with the rule and pay off its workers by August 10.”

“We will not consider any excuses,” said Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, while suggesting the disgraced garment manufacturer to either borrow from banks or sell off its assets if it needs to.

Chunnu said that labour ministry officials have already met with Tuba Group's owner, Delwar Hossain, to inform him of the government's plan of action should he fail to pay off the workers by the deadline.

All of Tuba Group workers have collected two of their three months' outstanding salaries from the BGMEA headquarters at Karwan Bazar, according to Atiqul Islam, president of the association. Meanwhile, the government and the BGMEA have urged the trade unions and workers to refrain from any strike.

“Workers have already got their two months' salaries and they will get the other month's salary on Sunday. So it is illogical to call a strike,” Chunnu said.

The BGMEA chief also called upon labour leaders to refrain from doing politics in the garment sector for the sake of the country's best interests.

Tuba Group workers break down in tears as police forced them out of the factory compound in Badda, Dhaka yesterday. Photo: Amran Hossain

Tuba Group workers break down in tears as police forced them out of the factory compound in Badda, Dhaka yesterday. Photo: Amran Hossain

 

“The problem of Tuba Group has been resolved as almost all workers have taken their salaries,” said Islam, adding that many workers were unable to come to the association office on Wednesday to draw their salaries as a “vested quarter was playing games with innocent workers”.

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.

Meanwhile, salary distribution at the BGMEA office started at 9am yesterday but it got momentum after noon, when hundreds of workers flocked in, with a long queue seen after 4pm. “I came to the association office willingly as I urgently need money to clear my house rent and food bills,” said Mohammad Ratan, a 19-year-old worker of Tuba Textile Mills, adding that his landlord has already locked up his home due to non-payment of rent.

He was one of the 1,475 workers that have made it to the BGMEA office to collect his salary.

Ratan, who has been working with Tuba Textile Mills for over a year now, has received Tk 11,000 yesterday as salary for the months of May and June.

The amount, he says, is not enough to clear all his dues as he has to pay Tk 10,500 as house rent for three months and Tk 5,500 for food bills. 

Md Rahmat, a quality inspector of Tuba Textile Mills, echoed the same. “I have come here willingly – no-one has forced me.”  

Rahmat, who has been with the company for upwards of seven years, said he needs money urgently to clear the dues and send money to his parents in Jamalpur.

Tuba Group's total employee count stood at 1,495 in May and 1,458 in June, according to Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of BGMEA.

Published: 12:00 am Friday, August 08, 2014

Last modified: 2:01 am Friday, August 08, 2014

TAGS: government Tuba Group salaries Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association's office. Eid bonuses.

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