Get back to work or factories to be shut indefinitely: BGMEA

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Sunday threatened to keep all the factories shut for an indefinite period if the agitating workers do not go back to work by Monday.
“The workers won’t get any wage,” said BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman at an emergency press conference held at its office in the city.Siddiqur Rahman said, “If you (workers) don’t go back to work, we’ll be bound to close all the factories. And you won’t get any wage.”
He also said ‘no work, no pay’ policy will be implemented from Monday as per Article 13/1 of the country’s Labour Act.”Some vested quarters, both at home and abroad, have long been conspiring to destroy our apparel sector so that we can’t march forward in the world market,” he added.
Meanwhile, the BGMEA leader urged the government and law enforcement agencies to find out the culprits hatching the conspiracy.“Just one hour is very important for us. The apparel sector is the lifeline of the country’s economy. So, we’re requesting the government to take necessary steps to bring the situation under control,” he added.
Meanwhile, another meeting is scheduled to be held at the Labour Ministry with members of the 20-member crisis management committee anytime soon.The government is expected to announce a revised wage structure for apparel workers of grades 3, 4 and 5, in an effort to quell the labour unrest that has affected production in the country’s largest forex-earning sector.
Workers have been demonstrating demanding cancellation of ‘discriminatory wage board’ announced by the government for them.
In September last year, the government raised the minimum monthly wage for RMG workers by around 51 percent to Tk 8,000 from Tk 5,300. The new wage took effect in December. But when workers drew their pay in January, they found a huge disparity, triggering the demonstrations.
The tripartite committee formed to resolve the labour unrest in the garment industry has found disparities in three grades of the workers’ pay structure and has started working to minimise the wage gap that sparked off the protests five days ago.

source: UNB