Garment, business and political leaders treated garment workers as slave, send them home; ask again to join work and send them again off during a 10 days countrywide lock down period.
Thousands of garment workers – were returned Dhaka traveled in cramped lorries or walk the distance in groups and are unable to keep social distancing.
“The owners still treated workers as slave; otherwise how they play such game with the poor workers during the pandemic. The whole country is under locked down but the owners asked workers to join the factory,” Kalpona Akther, Bangladesh top garment worker leader said.
She said “ I am afraid whether the worker get government supports it approved in their pocket,”
“My cousin and his wife started for Dhaka Saturday morning after they were told that their garment factories would open on Sunday. On the way from Magura, they walked about 15 miles under scorching sun, took battery-powered easy bikes, rickshaw vans and a truck to reach Ashulia. Police and military troops intercepted them five times, forcing them to abandon their easy bikes and vans and walk to the next stations. When they reached their Ashulia shanty, it was already evening. They spent 800 taka each. A normal bus trip from Magura to Dhaka usually costs no more than 400 taka. This morning, my cousin called me by phone and said the factory has been shut down indefinitely,” a senior journalist wrote in his wall.
So don’t be surprised when they make this 120 kilometres walk back to their work defying this unprecedented lockdown. They are so worried about the future of their jobs that even if they were told to trek back from Tetulia, they would do that without complaint, he wrote.
Modern Bangladesh has been built on the beaten toes, hardened fingers and half-starved bodies of these fragile but determined women.
“companies suffered significant cancellations or postponements, and on an average, orders dropped by 8 per cent, according to a survey by Zurich-based International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF).
Sources said Primark and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill are among retailers that have collectively cancelled £1.4bn and suspended an additional £1bn of orders as they scramble to minimize losses.
The Finance Ministry in Bangladesh has announced a stimulus package for the export-oriented sectors. Factories can loan funds at 2% interest to pay their workers’ salaries for up to three months. The borrowers will get a six-month grace period, meaning that they will start paying back the borrowed money in installments to the government from the seventh month of receiving the money.
Asked about the blame Rubana Hoq, BGMEA President refrain from making any comments.