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59 Bangladesh garment factories reopen

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The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have ordered the reopening of some 59 readymade garment (RMG) factories. These were closed down following the workers’ strikes over wage laws. Intervention by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, resulted in BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman announcing that “as per directions and assurance of security and safety from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and urge from the workers, we have decided to reopen the closed factories in Ashulia from Monday.”

During the unrest 541 workers lost their jobs. The Sharmin Group factory terminated 143 workers for their alleged involvement in labour unrest. The management of Sharmin Group also filed two cases against 200-250 unnamed workers over the unrest. Setara Group terminated 30 workers on charges of “creating chaos”.

Siddiqur Rahman said, “The factory closure was hurting the workers and owners as well as the country’s economy.” The garment owners said losses incurred were BDT 100 crore each day. The factories will be reopened as per Section 13/1 of the Labour Act that empowers the owners to close down factories amid workers’ unrest without providing them any benefit.

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