In order to ensure a joyful Eid vacation for industrial workers, factories have been working to clear the salaries and Eid bonuses till Wednesday midnight.
Industrial police, entrepreneurs, and labour leaders reported that almost all the factories have paid the salaries for March till date, while some have also paid half of the salary for April.
Although all parties were optimistic to clear the dues before Eid vacation, a number of factories are yet to pay the Eid bonuses as of Wednesday.
Seeking anonymity, a top official of the Industrial Police told The Business Standard that said almost every factory has paid March salary and approximately 50% of the factories have paid Eid bonuses till 8pm on Wednesday.
He also mentioned that there is a huge rush in the Industrial zones as a result of which many factories are paying Eid bonuses at night and it may continue till 10pm.
For this reason, industrial police could not complete the data collection of workers' salary-bonus payments on Wednesday.
According to the Tuesday data of Industrial Police, a total of 102 industries have not paid their workers' March wages out of 9,176 factories across the country. Of these are 29 apparel factories, eight textile mills, two BEPZA economic zone mills and 63 other factories.
The data also mentioned that around 3,151 factories have paid Eid bonuses to their workers, of which 975 are apparel factories, 129 textile mills, 231 BEPZA economic zone factories, and 1,797 miscellaneous factories.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan said almost 100% of BGMEA member factories have paid their salaries and over 80% of factories have disbursed the Eid bonuses till Wednesday.
He acknowledged that a few BGMEA member factories are facing difficulties in paying their workers but the organisation is actively working to manage funds for them, hoping that they will be able to pay all the workers before Eid holidays.
Regarding the crisis behind these factories, the BGMEA president said that some factories have been hit hard by the cancelled orders due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war while a number of buyers are deferring the payment by up to four months instead of the payment at sight.
BKMEA Executive President Mohammad Hatem echoed with BGMEA president and said there has been a liquidity crisis because many garment owners are under financial pressure since banks are deducting their stimulus package loan payment after submitting the export document. As a result, the owners are not getting the full amount of export payment.
He hoped that the workers will be given the salary-bonus within the deadline given by the government, which was fixed at the last tripartite meeting at the labour ministry.
Earlier, state minister for labour and employment Monnujan Sufian had given directives to the owners of the industries and manufacturing units to clear the payments of Eid bonuses and salaries for March (full) and April (half) before the Eid vacation, scheduled to begin on 29 April.
The Business Standard has found that a number of factories have announced a holiday from 28 April after clearing their workers' monthly salaries and bonuses.
Talking to The Business Standard, Center for Workers Solidarity Executive Director Kalpana Akhter said, "We have no information of any incident over salary and bonus payment on Wednesday."
"There are many problems in small and subcontracted factories to pay salaries and bonuses," she said, adding that large factories – which are slow in paying wages - should take some responsibility as those small factories are working for them.
BGMEA Vice President Shahidullah Azim said BGMEA has 1,072 factories in Dhaka; of them, 7seven factories had financial problems but the crisis was resolved today.
He also hoped that every factory would be able to give salary-bonus to their workers before Eid vacation.