Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati yesterday demanded immediate shutdown of garments factories for a temporary period to protect RMG workers from the novel coronavirus.
Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati's President Taslima Akhter, General Secretary Julhas Nayeen Babu and Organising Secretary Aminul Islam Shama made the demand in a joint statement.
They also urged the authorities concerned to ensure rationing and all other facilities including salaries for garment workers during the period.
In the statement, Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati leaders said 30 people have been infected with coronavirus, one has died of this disease and another infected person is now under intensive care unit (ICU).
All educational institutions have been closed, instruction has been given to vacate university halls, while meetings and public gatherings including cricket tournaments have been postponed due to the spread of coronavirus.
Movement in different districts including Madaripur has been suspended and an "uneasy calm situation" is prevailing in the capital due to coronavirus, but neither the [factory] owners nor the government has made any declaration for ensuring the safety of 40 lakh workers of the RMG industry, which is the top foreign currency earning sector of the country, they said in the statement.
Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati leaders said in the statement that thousands of garment workers are in a vulnerable position during this pandemic.
Water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in factories are inadequate, they said. Usage of mask and hand sanitiser is also rare in the factories.
They urged the government to take steps to control house rent and price of essentials strictly.