Dhaka, Feb 17 (UNB) - Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Saturday evening accorded a reception to its members elected Members of Parliament (MPs) in the 11th national election, including new ministers.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, MP, LGRD Minister Md Tajul Islam, MP, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the PM Salman Fazlur Rahman, MP, Abdus Salam Murshedi, MP, Jahirul Haque Bhuiyan Mohon, MP, Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury, MP, and Abdul Momin Mondol, MP, from the apparel sector were present at the reception.
“It’s a great honour and pride to accord reception to the ministers and MPs who are also family members of the apparel industry,” BGMEA President Md Siddiqur Rahman said while addressing the function held at BGMEA Complex.
He hoped that the ministers and MPs would continue to make their contributions to the development of the country and the RMG sector, said a press release.
FBCCI President M Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin), former BGMEA presidents Anisur Rahman Sinha and Md Atiqul Islam, BGMEA First Vice President Moinuddin Ahmed, Senior Vice President Faruque Hassan, Vice President SM Mannan (Kochi), Vice President (Finance) Mohammed Nasir and Directors of BGMEA were also present.
Dhaka, Dec 15 (UNB) – Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Siddiqur Rahman on Saturday called upon the garment workers not to be misguided by the rumours spread by conspirators.
He also requested them to return to their respective workplaces at a press conference arranged by the organization on current labour situation of the RMG industry at BGMEA Bhaban in the city.
Mentioning that some factories in Ashulia and Gazipur areas were closed as the workforce refrained themselves from working for the fifth consecutive day Saturday.
Siddikur Rahman said a vested quarter has been provoking the RMG workers on their wage issue to unsettle the industry centering the imminent parliamentary election.
BGMEA chief also requested the workers of all sectors to contact with the factory authority or BGMEA instead of observing work abstention if any confusion arises regarding the new wage board.
“Even though the industry is not fully capable, the increases in workers’ wager have been continuous since 2010 to 2018 reaching around 381 percent. Since 2013, there has been an increase of five percent every year,” said the president.
“There has been rumour of discrimination in the new wage board saying that every grade did not get the increment. In reality, every worker will receive increment based on their post and grade. Minimum allowance for a worker has been increased to 1850 taka from 1100 taka. Workers, whose basic salary is higher than the gazette states, will also receive ten percent increase in house rent.”
Siddikur Rahman also mentioned that the announced minimum wages will be added with the salary of December which will be paid by January 7-10.
“There’s no reason of protesting before receiving the government proposed salary,” he added.
He went on by saying it should be checked that nobody can create anarchy by using the workers to thwart the election.
BGMEA chief urged the law enforcement agencies to find and take actions against the culprits who are pitting the workers and industry owners together.
National Garments Workers Federation President Amirul Haq Amin resonated with him saying everyone will be paid the increased salary by the first week of December and the yearly increase will continue.
He repeated BGMEA chief’s plea saying that it is the duty of everybody to maintain peaceful environment before the election.
He insisted that the workers should discuss with the respective factory owners to resolve any issue regarding new wage board instead of stopping production.
He also asked them to contact the workers’ federation or BGMEA if any help is needed over the issue.
BGMEA officials and other labour union heads, among others, were present at the conference.
Dhaka, Dec 13 (UNB) - The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety says readymade garment factories affiliated with it have made remarkable headway in improving safety over the last five years.
“Maintaining this progress must remain an ongoing effort-and for our member brands, it will remain a top priority long beyond the Alliance’s departure,” Alliance Executive Director Jim Moriarty was quoted as saying in a statement released on Thursday.
Alliance unveiled its fifth and final annual report on Thursday.
US Ambassador Earl R Miller appreciated the achievement, saying Washington would continue to “strongly support” the brands’ efforts to monitor safety and empower workers in their factories.
“With this work, the Alliance has set a standard for the industry to follow in Bangladesh,” he said.
Alliance is a legally binding, five-year commitment to improve safety in Bangladeshi RMG factories, one of two signed with foreign buyers. While Alliance is maintained with North American (mostly US, Canada) buyers, the other, Accord is with European buyers.
It was organised in 2013 after the collapse of the Rana Plaza in which over 1,000 people – mostly RMG workers – were killed. The incident took place only 5 months after a deadly fire at the Tazreen Fashions garment factory left over 100 people dead.
Alliance announced the near completion of factory safety improvements as well as the full execution of its fire safety training and 24-hour worker helpline to over 1.5 million workers in Alliance-affiliated factories.
“With an ecosystem of safety now in place, the Alliance is transitioning its widely renowned training program and helpline to local partners who will continue both and expand them to additional factories throughout Bangladesh,” the media statement read.
It said most Alliance member brands planned to work through a locally-based organisation to collectively monitor safety standards, training execution and helpline promotion in the factories from which they source. Consistency in the level of safety, achieved under the Alliance, will remain a requirement of these brands.
Highlights from Alliance report
-- 93 percent remediation across Alliance-affiliated factories is complete;
-- 428 factories completed all material items in their initial Corrective Action Plans;
-- Nearly 1.6 million workers have been trained to protect themselves in case of a fire emergency. Alliance has developed local training partners to expand the training beyond Alliance-affiliated factories;
-- 28,000 security guards have been trained in fire safety and emergency evacuation procedures;
-- More than 1.5 million workers now have access to a 24-hour confidential helpline. It will soon be available to RMG factories throughout Bangladesh;
-- 181 worker safety committees have been formed
Dhaka, Oct 15 (UNB) – Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Monday accused the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) of spreading false and distorted information about the newly announced minimum wage for workers to create ‘instability’ in the country.
BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman came up with the allegation at a press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban conference room.
He alleged that the National Garment Workers Federation has been spreading fabricated and false information through leaflets that the basic wage of workers has not been raised in the announced structure to divert all’s attention to a different direction.
Siddiqur Rahman claimed that the federation’s leaflets compared the minimum wage between 1994 and 2006 tactfully avoiding that of 2013.
“The federation also stated that the percentage of 7th grade workers is 3-5 while the actual number is 20 percent of the total workers which is supported by a study conducted by Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD),” he said.
The BGMEA chief said the wage of workers has been increased by 381.35 percent though export and demand in the RMG sector decreased after 2014 that saw around 1,200 local factories to shut down in the past four years.
“We’ve accepted the new minimum wage fixed by the wage board despite various adversities. It’s a matter of sorrow that a vested quarter of labour leaders and NGOs is trying to create instability in the country by spreading propaganda and instigating workers,” he said.
Mentioning that nearly 1 crore people are employed in the RMG sector, Siddiqur said the spread of such instigating information will send a wrong message to the foreign countries and damage the country’s image.
Dhaka, Sep 9 (UNB) – From an emergency general meeting on Sunday, country’s export-oriented readymade garment (RMG) factory owners urged the government to give an ‘exit plan’ for RMG units which want to leave the business for non-viability.
RMG owners also demanded the government to introduce inflation-based yearly wage increase system on permanent basis instead of the existing system of raising wage in every 5-year by forming a commission.
“We want adjustment in the workers’ wage keeping in line with rate of inflation”, said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) and a former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
He was addressing the emergency general meeting of the RMG factory owners held at the BGMEA’s Nurul Kader Auditorium in the city under the joint aegis of BGMEA and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA)—the two main representative bodies in the country’s RMG sector.
“We’ll call for an exit plan for those who want to leave the garment business”, he added.
Most of the speakers severely criticised the civil society members and NGO leaders for their advocacy in favour of garment workers’ wage hike in seminars and TV talk shows.
Some civil society members and NGOs are involved in conspiracy to destroy the country’s garment sector, they alleged.
The FBCCI chief was echoed by other speakers at the meeting held against the backdrop a perception that the government might move to declare the minimum wage as per wage commission’s recommendations. The commission was formed in January this year.
With BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman in the chair, the meeting was also addressed, among others, by BGMEA’s former leader and present ruling party lawmaker Tipu Munshi, BKMEA president and Jatiya Party lawmaker Selim Osman, garment businessman Atiqul Islam, Wage Commission member Arshad Jalam Dipu, BGMEA vice president SM Mannan Kochi and former Dhaka Chamber president Asif Ibrahim.
Siddiqur Rahman said that he would pursue the government to accept their demands.
He mentioned that in the wage commission, the BGMEA has proposed the minimum wage to be Tk 6360 while the labour leaders have proposed it at Tk 12020.
He said although BGMEA proposed the minimum wage at Tk 6360, for many factory owners it would be hard to implement it.
The last minimum wage was Tk 5,300 declared in 2013.
Tipu Munshi said the time is not in favour of garment industries as the general election time is nearing and the government feels pressure to announce the new wage for the garment workers.
Atiqul Islam said the factory owners already raised 20 percent wages of the workers at different forms while they have to spend extra money at the government offices at every stage of their business in exporting goods.
“But buyers never want to increase their prices of the goods”, he said.
BGMEA leader Ehsan Fazle Shamim said the organisation should do more to improve efficiency of the workers as two workers gets $175 a month to run a machine in Bangladesh while one worker in Vietnam runs same and gets $160.