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3 Dec 2022

The Business Standard

Bangladesh: Thousands of garment workers lose jobs after DIRD Group announces indefinite closure of garment factories, following decline in orders & worker strikes demanding unpaid wages

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"4 RMG factories of DIRD Group announced closed indefinitely", 3 December 2022

The authorities of DIRD Group have announced the closure of its four apparel factories located in Hemayetpur of Savar for an indefinite period.

Workers found closing notices hanging at the gates as they went to join work Saturday (3 December) morning.

The closed factories are Dipta Apparels, Dipta Garments, DIRD Garments and DIRD Washing Plant...

A senior official of DIRD Group, who wished not to be named, said that the company was forced to take the decision due to a decline in export orders.

When contacted, Dipta Apparels Deputy General Manager (administration) Mamun told The Business Standard that the factories have been closed for several reasons, including a shortage of raw materials and some unforeseen circumstances...

Raju Ahmed, an employee of Dipta Apparels, said that workers have some issues with the authorities of the factories, including outstanding wages and dues during the Covid-19 period and holiday payments.

He said the authorities paid one month's arrears after the mid-level employees of the factories went on strike demanding payment of two months' arrears.

As the rest of the demands were not met, Raju continued, the workers of Dipta Apparels tried to negotiate with the owners again last Friday.

But at one point after 12am Friday, the factory authorities sent a text message to each worker's mobile phone announcing the factory's indefinite closure, Raju added.

...a notice signed by DIRD Group Deputy General Manager (administration) stated that due to some unforeseen events and due to the interruption of factory production, the authorities are forced to announce the closure of the factories for an indefinite period as per Section 13 of the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006.

The closure will be effective from Saturday and the re-opening date of the factories will be announced later, read the notice.

National Garment Workers Federation Central Committee Joint Secretary Kabir Hossain told TBS, "It is not clear in what context or for what reason the factories were actually closed. Every factory worker owes dues to the authorities."...

When contacted, Inspector (Intelligence) of Ashulia Industrial Police 1 Mohammad Kamal Uddin told TBS, "I don't know if there are four factories, we know about two factories, one is Dipta Apparels Limited and the other is DIRD Washing Plant Limited."...