EU to give €90m to garment workers laid off for COVID-19
There is finally some good news for the hard-up garment workers as the European Union (EU) will provide more than € 90 million to those who have lost their jobs because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Each worker will get their respective handout directly, possibly through the use of their bank or mobile financial service account and a government agency, to ensure transparency in the distribution of the fund.
The initiative is still at the very preliminary stage as the EU has been holding meetings with authorities concerned for the release of the fund.
"The BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) and BKMEA (Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association) will help prepare the list of retrenched workers," said Yasir Obaid, chairman of the trade body's standing committee on automation.
The EU has been holding meetings with leaders of both the BGMEA and the BKMEA to assess the total number of retrenched workers, he told The Daily Star over the phone.
The exact number of workers can be known in the first week of July as those laid off in June will also be included in the final assessment.
The amount that each worker will get from the fund is yet to be finalised.
"The exact final amount might be a little bit more than €90 million as far as I can understand from the meeting," he said.
The sector has been particularly hit hard by the pandemic: more than 1,000 garment factories have faced order cancellations amounting to $2.97 billion, a development that can leave more than a million of its 4 million-odd workers without a job, according to the BGMEA.
Earlier in April, the EU announced a €5 million cash support for Myanmar's garment workers.