Garment factories have started reopening after responding to the call from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). All the factories in Kashimpur and Konabari areas, except three in Gazipur, have reopened and production is going on in full swing.
The apex trade body claimed that around 99 garment factories in Ashulia and Mirpur areas of the capital were closed as workers continued staging demo demanding Tk 23,000 as minimum monthly salary amid high inflation.
On November 7, the government set Tk 12,500 as the minimum monthly salary of an RMG worker which the workers in protest since October 23, rejected by saying it was insufficient to lead life with that amount.
Meanwhile, the protest claimed the lives of at least four workers and left hundreds injured which resulted in the torching of two factories and several being vandalised.
Due to this situation, factory owners decided to shut production and closed their factories. According to the Industrial Police, at least 137 factories in the Gazipur, Ashulia and Mirpur areas were announced to shut down for an unspecified time, 78 of which followed the ‘no work, no pay’ policy under the Labour Act’s section 13/1.
However, in a press conference on Sunday, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said that they are ready to start production if the workers join.
On November 13, the BGMEA president told the media in a press statement, “Discussions are going on in these factories as well. If the labourers want to work, the factories will be opened when the situation is normal.”
He claimed, apart from this, many RMG factories in other areas of the country including Tongi, Sreepur, Maona, Mymensingh, Savar, EPZ, Narayanganj and Chattogram are open and fair labour conditions are maintained.
The mass media has played a very important role in the industry by spreading positive public opinion regarding keeping the factories open to keep the country's economy running. BGMEA gratefully recalls that the mass media has played an invaluable role in bringing the apparel industry to its current stage.