The Accord on Fire (a consortium of European fashion brands and buyers in the country) and Building Safety in Bangladesh has requested the Bangladesh government to form a wage board for workers of the readymade garment (RMG) sector. In a letter to PM Sheikh Hasina, Accord also expressed grave concern over the government’s response to recent RMG industry unrest and wage protests in the Ashulia stating some garment factory owners in the area were questionably using the industry unrest as a basis for mass termination of union supportive workers. The platform expressed concern over the recent detentions and termination from employment of individuals with union affiliation and who promote workers’ rights in the RMG factories located at Ashulia.
It said the signatories of Accord were concerned that as many as 700 persons faced Court allegations and potential arrest allegedly under the auspices of the Ashulia unrest. The Accord also sent the copy of the letter to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Apparel workers at Ashulia held protests in December last year, demanding an increase in minimum wage to Tk 16,000 from Tk 5,300. Terming workers’ demands illegal, authorities of 85 factories on December 20 announced closure of their units under Section 13(1) of the Labour Act for an indefinite period. However, they reopened the units from December 25 with massive termination and filling cases against workers.