Garment factory owners yesterday proposed paying workers 50 percent of their basic salaries as Eid bonus.
Union leaders termed the slashing of bonus payment double blow to the workers within less than a month.
On April 29, the government asked the closed factory owners to give workers 65 percent of their gross salaries of April. Some factories were yet to do so.
And now the owners proposed paying 50 percent of the workers' basic salaries as Eid bonus, said China Rahman, general secretary of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, Bangladesh chapter of IndustriALL Global Union.
"We did not agree with the proposal. We demanded bonus as per the labour law that means a festival bonus is equivalent to one-month basic payment," China told The Daily Star by phone.
She said as per the proposal of owners in yesterday's tripartite meeting at Srama Bhaban, a grade seven worker will get Tk 2,050 as bonus as his or her basic salary is Tk 4,100.
"We want bonus as much as basic salary of a month," China said after the meeting.
Talking to The Daily Star, Amirul Haque Amin, president of National Garment Workers Federation, said it was fully illogical that the owners were now proposing cutting of 50 percent bonus after they had curtailed 35 percent gross salary of April.
Monnujan Sufian, state minister for labour and employment, also asked the owners to pay 100 percent bonus, according to a ministry statement yesterday.
After the meeting, Mohammad Hatem, vice-president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said, "This is our proposal for this Eid as our business is not going well. We are just continuing our business now. We are not making profits."
Monnujan chaired the tripartite meeting of owners, union leaders, and government high-ups.
China said the proposal of bonus payment was not finalised in the meeting as they would hold more meetings.
She added that three days' holiday for Eid in the garment sector was finalised, and payment of salary for the month of May in first 10 days of June was finalised.