BD RMG workers’ rights during COVID pandemic

Bangladesh, a developing and populous country, has just lately begun preparing for COVID-19. The first COVID-19 patients were revealed on March 8, 2020. Those most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society are most affected by this condition. RMG employees in Bangladesh are one example. Due to their lack of education or incompetence, unskilled employees with weak negotiating power are especially prone to exploitation. Among this well-known susceptible group, Because the number of COVID-19 infections in Bangladesh is growing every day, the Bangladeshi government has ordered a nationwide lockdown starting March 26, 2020. The lockout prompted the closure of the apparel company. The clothing owner dismisses staff without notice. Due to the epidemic, many clothing workers lost their employment. The laid-off employees went home to find they had no job.

According to a Bangladesh Centre for Workers’ Solidarity (BCWS) study, 300,000 people are laid off each year. The pandemic started in April and continues now. According to the Centre for Policy Dialogue and BRAC University’s “Mapped in Bangladesh” project, there were fewer manufacturing employees in September 2020 than in December 2019, with 56% of them suffering some degree of uncertainty. Approximately 11% of producers face extreme uncertainty. Between January and September, over 3,57,450 people out of 2,562,383 lost their jobs or almost 14% of the entire workforce. The Corona pandemic cost many who wanted to change their lives and relocate to the city their jobs in the garment business, making it impossible to save their lives.

According to Section 20 of the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006, a worker is entitled to one month’s remuneration if they have worked for the firm for one year. The employee must also be provided with a copy of the notice under the 2006 Labor Act.

However, if the worker is laid off for 45 days or more, he must pay 15 days’ salary every year. If the employer and employee cannot come to an agreement, the employee will be dismissed. Prerequisites for layoff termination by law, salaries must be paid in writing for 1 month or vice versa, detailing the grounds for layoffs.

The CPD claims that layoffs and industrial closures were not sudden. Only 3.6 per cent of factories paid wages and compensation in accordance with the compensation rules but did not pay the arrears. A lot is said about employees in the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006. A month’s notice is required for layoffs. The employee will get one month’s basic wage for each year of service. Ten months of basic pay for ten years of service. Field labourers may also be paid. Dismissed personnel will lose their positions without pay. Termination of employment must be advised four months in advance. If his employer fires him without warning, he must pay four months’ wages. An estimated 982 million garments worth $3.18 billion are being rejected or delayed, according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). As the global effort to help the garment industry begins, Bangladesh’s condition swiftly deteriorates. Last year, the pandemic cost the employment of 3.56 million people in the ready-made clothing industry. Many factories have closed. Those who survived were underpaid. In one year, 35% of the country’s textile workers’ salaries fell. However, the cost of all everyday essentials has risen. Aside from that, the clothing industry is seriously harmed owing to low market demand, delayed shipments, and late payment of product prices. More women sacked under the guise of coronation Many have had their pay cut. Workers are coerced into learning. The study found that 58% of factories had some degree of uncertainty and 11% had “far more”.

As we can see, every worker has rights that should be protected by our government and the Bangladesh Constitution. It is vital that our employees get all the benefits from our government as required by law. Many employees in Bangladesh are unaware of their rights, and the government should do more to educate them.

The right to a decent standard of life for himself and his family, including food, clothes, shelter, medical care, and required social services, as well as financial stability in the case of job loss or loss of livelihood due to circumstances beyond his control. To defend workers’ rights, the sector must improve safety and health conditions, as well as compensation processes to include mental illness and other physical injuries. This sector requires immediate attention and action since it contributes to our economy.