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235 garment units shut indefinitely in Bangladesh
May '13
More than 200 readymade garment (RMG) manufacturing units have shutdown for an indefinite period in Bangladesh’s Ashulia industrial belt, following labour unrest in the aftermath of the Savar building collapse, whose toll has now crossed 1,100.
“At present, 235 RMG garment factories have shutdown in Ashulia industrial belt,” Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Atiqul Islam told fibre2fashion on phone.
When asked about the likely opening of these units, Mr. Islam said, “Until and unless we have the guarantee that the workers are coming and they will do the work, we are not able to take any action to improve the situation in the region.”
On May 13, BGMEA had decided to indefinitely close all garment units in Ashulia industrial belt after a series of labour unrest incidents, but the decision was later changed to only those apparel units that are facing labour unrest.
The Ashulia industrial belt has more than 300 garment factories that together account for nearly 20 percent of overall apparel exports from Bangladesh.
Addressing a press conference on May 13, Mr. Islam said the decision to shut clothing units in Ashulia was taken as per the Section 13(A) of the Labour Act, which means the workers would not get their salary during the closure.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Government has set up a board to hike minimum wage for garment workers, in response to severe criticism from several quarters about pay and workplace conditions in the country’s garment units.
Two large-scale incidents – a devastating fire at Tazreeen Fashions in November last year which claimed 112 lives, and the last month’s Rana Plaza collapse – have increased pressure from Western buyers on the Bangladesh Government to ensure compliance of work and safety standards at garment factories.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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