Swisscontact and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have signed an agreement for the economic rehabilitation of readymade garments (RMG) workers amid the pandemic.
Sarathi-Progress through Financial Inclusion, a development project of Swisscontact Bangladesh, on Monday signed the agreement with BKMEA to support apparel workers and factories that are still reeling from the disruptions brought about by the pandemic.
Through this collaboration, 400 RMG workers will receive a portion of the wage subsidy.
Many factories will be forced to partially or entirely stop operation in the coming months if they do not receive more production orders from the international brands. This will result in more layoffs in the apparel sector.
So, Sarathi will collaborate with BKMEA to identify small and medium RMG factories, who are struggling to receive production orders amid the pandemic.
And BKMEA will help Sarathi identify the struggling factories based on specific selection criteria and grant them partial wage subsidy, enabling them to retain their entire workforce.
BKMEA Vice-President Mohammad Hatem and Sarathi Team Leader Syeda Ishrat Fatema signed the agreement.
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To date, Sarathi has engaged four commercial banks to digitise the wage payment system of 49 RMG factories; and through its interventions, 76,000 RMG workers are receiving their salaries in their bank accounts and have access to banking products and services.
Also, 17,000 RMG workers have received financial literacy training and 200,000 people were reached through mass awareness campaigns conducted by Sarathi.