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The Financial Express

Working during pandemic: 30pc garment workers say they face increasing work pressure

| Updated: May 08, 2021 20:15:58


A woman works in a garment factory, as factories reopened after the government has eased the restrictions amid concerns over coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Dhaka, Bangladesh on May 3, 2020 — Reuters/Files A woman works in a garment factory, as factories reopened after the government has eased the restrictions amid concerns over coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Dhaka, Bangladesh on May 3, 2020 — Reuters/Files

Some 30 per cent of the garment workers surveyed have said they face an increasing work pressure while 22 per cent said they face a rise in work-related harassment during the pandemic, according to a CPD study.

Twenty per cent of the workers who were terminated during the Covid-19 have not still received their lawful benefits, while nine per cent workers had their job changing to contractual status, the CPD (Centre for Policy Dialogue) revealed at a virtual programme on Saturday.

The CPD recently conducted its study titled “Corporate Accountability of the RMG Sector in view of COVID Pandemic: Challenges in Ensuring Workers’ Well-being” in Dhaka and Gazipur.

The study covers 102 factories and 400 workers including 100 unemployed workers.

Some sections of the Bangladesh Labour Act 2018 (section 324, 100, 102 and 105) have been withheld during the pandemic, and it can be partly attributed to a rise in work pressure and related harassment, said CPD Research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, while presenting the study findings.

Workers do not want to speak against any malpractices as they feel threatened to be ‘blacklisted’, meaning that they would not ever get a job in the garment sector in the future, he said.

There is a gap in social dialogue between employers and workers, he said adding that 37 per cent of the surveyed employers admitted that they sit either occasionally or never with their workers or workers’ representatives regarding any matter of dispute or inconvenience.

And the practice of social dialogue is largely absent from employers that are small and not members of any trade body, Mr Moazzem said.

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