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96.74% factories paid May wages, 89.06% bonus

Staff Correspondent
27 Jun 2023 23:46:22 | Update: 27 Jun 2023 23:46:22
96.74% factories paid May wages, 89.06% bonus
— TBP File Photo

Amid the high inflation and economic crisis, many workers are likely to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha this year without festivity as payment of wages and festival bonuses by many factories has become uncertain.

The Industrial Police and trade bodies’ leaders said that due to the ongoing global economic headwinds, many factories failed to manage liquidity to pay wages to the workers. Workers already started staging protests demanding payment of arrears.

Even workers’ leader Shahidul Islam Shahid, also an activist of Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity partnering with the largest US-based international worker rights organisation Solidarity Center, was killed in an attack by some miscreants in Gazipur area when they gathered in front of the Prince Jacquard Sweater gate. The murder triggered protests in the industrial area.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Vice President Shahidullah Azim told The Business Post, “Exporters are facing a financial crisis for low export earnings. That is why some factories failed to arrange liquidity to pay wages to the workers. We are trying our best to address the issue.”

“We still believe that all RMG workers will be able to enjoy this Eid with cheers, and the BGMEA is working to this end.”

According to the Industrial Police, they are monitoring seven industrial zones across the country--Ashulia, Gazipur, Narayanganj, Mymensingh, Khulna, Chattogram, Cumilla & Sylhet where 3,164 export-oriented factories (except Dhaka metropolitan area) are in operation.

Of the total, 3,061 factories paid May wages and 2,818 paid Eid bonuses till Tuesday noon. Besides, 1,684 factories paid June 15-day salary.

The data shows that the country has 1,624 BGMEA member factories. Of them, 58 factories are yet to pay May wages and 212 others have festival bonuses.

On the other hand, 28 Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) member factories did not pay May wages and 53 factories are yet to pay festival bonuses, where a total of 699 factories are in operation.

The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) has 359 factories in operation, where 15 factories did not pay May wages and 45 factories have a bonus due. Of the total 392 Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) factories, 2 are yet to pay May wages and 12 did not pay bonuses.

Meanwhile, all 90 Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) member factories paid May wages despite their dwindling export performance. But 24 factories are yet to pay bonuses.

However, BGMEA claimed that they have 2,096 factories in operation across the country (including Dhaka metropolitan area), and 2,095 factories already cleared May wages. Besides, 2,075 factories also paid festival bonuses.

The apex body claimed that their 12 member factories were facing a severe fund crisis. And production at these factories remained suspended. BGMEA is working to deal with the issue.