One cannot take lightly the announcement of the BGMEA and BKMEA, associations of the garment and the knitwear manufacturers' and exporters' association respectively, to close down the entire garment manufacturing factories in Ashulia area sine die. This is a sequel to the unrest in some of the factories in that area. One would hope that the leaders in the RMG sector and the government understand the very grave implications of the action.
We understand the compulsions of the factory owners, given that for the last several days the factories in the Ashulia area have been rocked by violence that has led to not only damage to some of the industrial units but have caused disruptions of life and communication between the capital and the eastern region of the country. And in this regard the suspicion of the owners demands serious cognizance.
Is it indeed an effort to damage the RMG sector, which, in spite of the many obstacles has seen manifold increase in export? Who stands to benefit from the destruction of our RMG potential? This is something that the authorities must delve into seriously. And it is not something that can be quelled by employment of the police alone.
If, as the owners and some of the workers have said, the troublemakers were outsiders how could they enter the premises unchallenged since the workers have identity documents. And why is it that the industrial police did not have adequate intelligence of the things in the offing since such actions cannot be organised spontaneously, and there is always some sort of simmering issues like wages that the trouble mongers exploit. In the recent past we found that it was one particular RMG factory from where violence was initiated. Why that is so?
We feel that there is a woeful lack of communication between the management and the workers in this sector, primarily because of the absence of trade unions. And as for the wages we feel that the demands of the workers are justified.
Shutting down is certainly not the answer. We hope it will be short-lived and that the concerned parties would address the issues objectively to protect our largest foreign exchange earner.