RMG workers’ due wages
Owners asked to settle payment before EidMustafizur Rahman
The government on Tuesday instructed all concerned in the readymade garment factories to ensure that workers get their due wages and festival allowances before Eid-ul-Fitr next month.
The Cabinet committee on law and order at its 11th meeting at the secretariat, with home affairs minister Sahara Khatun in the chair, issued the directives to prevent any disorder in the export-oriented apparel sector.
‘We have directed law enforcement agencies, including the industrial police, to take effective measures to check any disorder in the RMG sector ahead of Eid,’ Sahara told reporters after the meeting.
She said that the lawmen were especially asked to take additional measures so that the law and order situation does not deteriorate in the ongoing month of Ramadan.
The home affairs ministry will again sit with the representatives of the RMG factories tomorrow (Thursday) to press for implementation of the directives of the Cabinet body in the wake of the ongoing labour unrest in Ashulia, the industrial belt on the outskirts of Dhaka city, over non-payment of wages and job insecurity.
The meeting also decided to launch a crackdown against food adulteration across the country in the wake of widespread use of chemicals including formalin and carbide, especially in fruits, vegetables and fish.
Law minister Shafique Ahmed, labour and expatriates’ affairs minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, information minister Abul Kalam Azad, state minister for home affairs Shamsul Haque and senior officials of law enforcement agencies, along with others, were present at the meeting.
‘We have directed the LGRD and cooperatives ministry and city corporations to begin combing operations against the use of injurious chemicals in food items,’ said Shamsul Haque.
He said that the government was thinking of
enacting a stern law to stop food adulteration which causes deadly diseases like cancer.
The state minister said the meeting asked the RMG factory owners to ensure payment of due wages and festival allowances to workers to forestall any labour unrest over non-payment of wages before the Eid.
‘No one will be allowed to create an anarchic situation ahead of Eid in the readymade garment sector. The owners will have to pay due wages and festival bonus before the Eid,’ said Shamsul.
The Cabinet body asked the two city corporations of Dhaka to ensure alternative passages while constructing any flyovers as areas like Jatrabari and Saidabad were facing huge traffic congestion due to narrow roads in the under-construction flyover area on one of the exits of the capital.
It asked the concerned authorities to strengthen the operation of mobile courts against food adulteration and other crimes.
‘The local administrations and police have been alerted against the possibility of deterioration in the law and order situation over shortage of gas and electricity in and around the city,’ a senior official told New Age.
The Cabinet body underlined the need for another meeting with representatives of the export-oriented RMG sector, which earns over $20 billion in foreign exchange a year, to ensure the workers’ rights and maintain order in the sector which has around 40 lakh employees, most of them women.
Several hundred workers of Fashion It garment factory at Jamgora in Ashulia demonstrated for the third consecutive day on Tuesday in protest against the termination of the jobs of their fellow workers.
At least five were injured when the agitated workers, who brought out a rally blocking the Dhaka-Tangail highway, were lathi-charged by the police.
Around 70 people, including policemen and factory security guards, were injured in clashes at Jamgora and Dhonaid in Ashulia on Monday morning when workers of garment factories clashed with the police.
In response to workers’ unrest, the management of five garment and sweater factories declared holiday for the day and the management of another factory declared lock-out for an indefinite period.
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