Bangladesh workers win compensation over factory closures
More than 7,000 workers from three Bangladesh garment factories have succeeded in securing compensation after the premises closed due to structural faults and a relocation.
The National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) represented 1,250 workers at Tejgaon Textile Limited (TTL), and 6,000 at Ananta Apparels Limited and Ananta Fashion Limited.
The closures came after engineers from the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety inspected the TTL factory and found the building to have major structural faults.
The NGWF filed complaints with the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association), and demonstrations were organised. A conciliation meeting between the factory owners and workers resulted, with the workers managing to secure wages for the month of June, in addition to bonuses, overtime, and a bonus payment for the Eid Fitr festival.
Workers at Ananta Apparels and Ananta Fashion were facing factory relocations to Narayangonj, around 30 kilometers from Dhaka city, and only part of their Eid bonus. There were also claims an officer "tortured" a pregnant worker, forcing her to have caesarean section.
NGWF organisers helped workers lodge a grievance petition with the BGMEA against the owner and management, aimed at forcing them to agree to workers' demands through arbitration and conciliation. Management sat with workers late last month and agreed to implement their demands.
It was agreed the factories would not be relocated, and staff were paid their full Eid bonus. The "oppressive" line chief was also sacked and a criminal case filed against him.
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