Bangladesh: Garment workers protest over unpaid wages amid COVID-19 pandemic

Garment workers across Bangladesh have been protesting outside factories over unpaid wages after brands and retailers cancelled orders & delayed payments to their suppliers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has identified at least 46 factories which have not paid workers salaries for March 2020, despite repeated requests to do so. 

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20 May 2020

Bangladesh: BGMEA recommends govt. closure of 46 factories that failed to pay workers salaries amid protests over unpaid wages

Author: Refayet Ullah Mirdha, The Daily Star

"Failure to Pay Wages: BGMEA asks govt to close 46 factories", 19 May 2020

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has recommended that the ministry of labour and employment close down 46 garment factories that failed to pay the workers' salary for March despite repeated requests from the association...

BGMEA said about 99 percent of their members have paid the salaries for March, except these 46 factories...

[S]ince these factories have not cleared March salaries, they would not be eligible to avail interest-free loan from the government's stimulus package for the garment sector. It is one of the major conditions that borrowing companies need to meet for obtaining loans from the stimulus package.

Workers who have been demonstrating in Ashulia, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj mostly belong to these 46 factories...

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15 May 2020

Bangladesh: Police use teargas & water cannons to disperse garment workers protesting unpaid wages amid COVID-19

Author: Anwar Hussain, Chittagong, Shamima Rita, Narayanganj, Raihanul Islam Akand, Gazipur & Nadim Hossain, Dhaka Tribune

"RMG workers protest for full pay in 4 districts", 14 May 2020

Workers of several garment factories in Savar, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Chittagong staged demonstrations on Thursday for full payment of their salaries and dues before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Protests in Savar on Thursday turned violent as allegations of vandalism rose against the agitating workers, resulting in police firing water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse the workers.

Workers of Medlar Apparels Ltd and Adiyat Apparels Ltd demonstrated... for payment of full wages, other arrears and reopening the factories... At one point police had to use water cannons when the workers refused to withdraw their protests. Police also fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesting workers...

Witnesses and police said the factory management were delaying disbursement of the workers' April wages, which escalated on Thursday morning. The workers of Adiyat Apparels continued to protest for the second consecutive day on Thursday, demanding a reopening of the factory whose production remained suspended and 300 workers stood laid-off.

Meanwhile in Chittagong, the agitating workers of Four H Lingerie Ltd, a subsidiary of Four Group located at Baluchhara area under Hathazari police station, put up a blockade for several hours on Chittagong-Rangamati highway... demanding payment of hundred per cent wage for April...

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