Clear wages, Eid bonuses by May 10: RMG workers
Garment Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (GSKOP), an alliance of 20 worker associations, today demanded the payment of wages and Eid bonuses by May 10.
In a statement, GSKOP joint coordinators -- Abdul Wahed and Karmul Ahsan -- alleged that over 30 percent factories did not pay Eid bonus (festival allowance) while more than 75 percent factories are yet to disburse wages for the month of April, even though only 5-6 days are left for Eid-ul Fitr.
They said even though the RMG workers kept apparel factories operational by risking their lives amid the Covid-19 pandemic, "intelligence reports" indicate many factories are unlikely to pay the wages and allowances before the Eid.
They demanded the payment of wages of April and a basic wage of one month as Eid festival allowance by next Monday.
The GSKOP leaders also demanded the announcement of at least a seven-day alternative leave for the apparel factory workers when the spread of coronavirus infection will be under control.
They said the export earning was $3.13 billion alone last month but many apparel workers still do not know whether they would be able to celebrate Eid after receiving wages and allowances.
The RMG export earning was $27.95 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal year and $18.40 billion in the first seven months (July-January) of the current fiscal year of 2020-21, according to statistics provided by GSKOP.
The factory owners earlier took loans of Tk 10,500 crore at nominal interest rate from the stimulus fund for the payment of wages and allowances. This time, they sought loans of Tk 10,000 crore again for the payment of workers' wages and allowances ahead of this Eid, the GSKOP leaders claimed.