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Bangladesh garment units go slow on hiring

Readymade garment factories in Bangladesh have almost stopped recruiting workers. One reason is that the revised wages has come into force from December. Another is that export orders have fallen. Long term and bulky export orders are getting infrequent. In these circumstances, apparel makers are now unwilling to recruit workers. Some factories are even thinking of laying off of workers.

In addition there is a problem of labor unrest. Owners fear hooligans will gain entry into the premises in the guise of hired labor and create problems. Owners are not appointing workers, but are rather trying to cut jobs to adjust to the new wage structure. They claim they are facing a situation where wages are on the rise while production levels are dropping. However, labor representatives claim that some of the factories are selectively dismissing workers, particularly those who are involved in trade unions.

As a way out, apparel makers want incentives from the government. Around 44 lakh workers are employed in the country’s readymade garment sector – 80 per cent are women especially from rural areas. Some factory owners have opted for avoiding recruitment of male workers after violent labor unrest.