BGMEA seeks adequate security to run RMG factories

Staff Reporter: The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has urged the government to identify those who are conspiring over the RMG industry and thus taking action accordingly
alongside providing adequate security to run the factories.

BGMEA president Faruque Hassan made the request at a press conference held at
its office in the capital’s Uttara area today.

Faruque said, “We’ve noticed that despite the increase in wages, various factories are being vandalized in the name of movement. Following the announcement of fresh wages, some unidentified people unleashed destruction inside several factories.”

He said, “Our request before the government is to identify those who are plotting against this industry and thus taking necessary action. Alongside this, provide us with adequate security to run the industries.”

The BGMEA president said it is very sad that when the country’s RMG industry is struggling to survive under the two-way pressure of ‘global and financial’, then various subversive activities are going on surrounding the

“Especially our peaceful laborers are being provoked and agitated. If this industry loses its existence for any reason, then millions of workers will become jobless, which is not at all desirable. It is important to remember
that if this huge labour force becomes unemployed, then it would be very tough to ensure employment for them as no such sector is yet to emerge in the country as an alternate to the RMG sector,” he added.

Faruque said if the workers of the garment sector do not work or leave the factory without working or even vandalize the factory, then the factory authorities can keep the factory closed under Section 13 (1) of the Labor

He said the authorities can keep the factory shut to protect the industry and assets until the workers put an end to vandalism of factories as well as the law enforcement agencies ensures adequate security.

The BGMEA president mentioned that every entrepreneur has the constitutional right to protect his or her industry and wealth from outsiders.

In his speech, Faruque highlighted various aspects of the RMG sector in the press conference. He said since there is less work volume in many factories while the buyers have stopped giving new work orders, so new recruitment has been stopped. “New appointments will be given when the situation is favorable,” he added.

He said that the owners usually have to pay the wages even if the factory is closed due to bank debt, cancellation of work orders or for any reason.

“Factories have been asked not to hire new workers as there is less work now. At this moment, new recruitments will create an additional burden on the factories. If there is more work in a factory, then the authorities can
ensure his or her work done from the factories which have less work. This will help the understaffed factories and thus help to strike a balance on the work of the factories. The overcapacity situation that has developed will be
mitigated to some extent,” he said.

The BGMEA president alleged that propaganda is being made in the social media over the country’s RMG industry which is tarnishing the image of the industry and also the country. He also termed such activities as testament to sedition.

Regarding the wage hike in the RMG industry, Faruque said that they had announced in the press conference held on October 31, 2023, that all the factory owners would accept the new wage structure which would be announced by the government despite the adversities.

“We’ve accepted the declared wages. We’re determined to implement this new wage no matter how difficult it can be for us. Under the current circumstances, it will be very difficult for many of the entrepreneurs to
implement this new wage structure considering the current reality of the garment industry,” he added.

The government recently announced a minimum wage of Taka 12,500 for the garment workers. But, the garment workers have continued their movement demanding a further increase in wages.

Faruque also made an ardent appeal to the RMG workers to return to their work sincerely and thus help increase the productivity. “You should work with sincerity and increase the productivity and thus help the industry to
survive. If the industry remains good, then you will also remain good,” he said.

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