200 garment factories yet to pay workers' dues

About 200 sub-contracting garment factories which are not members of BGMEA are yet to fully pay salaries and festival bonuses to workers, with the Eid just around the corner.

Some factories either paid salaries in half or only bonus, but did not pay in full (both salaries and bonus) yet, said Sirajul Islam Rony, workers' representative to the minimum wage board for garment workers.

Some factories had not paid at all, even though they had pledged to make payments by yesterday, Rony said.

Trade union leaders settled a series of payment disputes as many factories faced trouble in paying the workers before the Eid, he said.

However, all but one BGMEA member factories have paid the salaries and Eid festival bonuses to the workers.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, a garment makers' platform, monitored some 1,316 factories, which were considered vulnerable to payment defaults.

“All 1,315 factories have already cleared the payments by July 10, which was the deadline for salary, while the deadline for bonus was July 15,” said Shahidullah Azim, BGMEA vice president.

“Eight regional committees of BGMEA are monitoring the bonus payment situation. If there is any problem, we will intervene immediately.”

The lone non-paying BGMEA member is Swan Garments, which employs nearly 1,300 people. 

It is impossible to pay the workers of Swan Garments before Eid as the factory owner remained traceless in the last few months, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar said. 

The labour ministry on Sunday formed a committee headed by Syed Ahmed, inspector general of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, to find ways to sell Swan's assets to pay the workers, Shipar said. 

“The committee has already started working on the matter, but it will take time.”

Over the last few days, some Swan workers have been demonstrating in front of the National Press Club in the capital for the prompt payment of all dues from April to June.

Swan's factory situated in Mollartek in Dhaka has remained closed since April.


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