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28 Aug 2023

New Age

Bangladesh: Over 300 factories incl. garment factories close, leaving over 44000 workers unemployed

"260 factories closed, 35,000 workers lose jobs in 8 months: IP", 28 August 2023

A total of 260 industrial units under the jurisdiction of eight zones of Industrial Police were closed, leaving about 35,000 workers unemployed in January-August, 2023, while 114 new factories created jobs for 12,445 workers in the period.

According to IP data, 320 factories under the jurisdiction of the Industrial Police were closed from January 1 to August 20, 2023, leaving 44,559 workers unemployed.

Out of the 320 factories, 60 are members of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, 16 are members of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufactures and Exporters Association, nine are members of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, five are under the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority and the rest 223 are non-RMG units.

Of the closed factories, 60 units reopened in the period and 9, 611 workers got back their jobs, the data showed. 

At the same time, the Industrial Police found that 114 new factories were set up in the period with the employment of 12,445 workers.

Although 22,056 workers got back their jobs in the new factories and in the reopened units, more than 22,500 workers remained unemployed in January 1- August 20 period, the data showed.

Industry people said that many small-scale export-oriented factories were closed due to lack of work orders and a good number of local small and cottage industries went shut due to lack of raw materials.

They said that some readymade garment factories who were engaged in subcontracting have gone out of operations in recent months due to lack of work orders.

‘The actual number of closed factories will be higher than the statistics released by the Industrial Police as some units suspended their operations in secret,’ Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Fazlee Shamim Ehsan told New Age.

He said that some of the RMG factories had lost their working capital due to lack of required work orders and suspended operations...