Apparel factory owners have decided to keep their factories closed till April 25 in line with extended general holidays to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Rubana Huq, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and Salim Osman, president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), informed of the decision in a joint statement issued on Friday.
"If any factory remains open to pay workers during this period, they will have to inform their respective associations [BGMEA or BKMEA], the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, and the Industrial Police," the statement reads.
As per the associations' earlier decision, the closure was scheduled till April 14. At that time, two associations requested all the factories to pay wages for March to the workers and employees by April 16.
"Factories involved in making emergency products, such as personal protective equipment, can continue their operations," said BKMEA First Vice President Mohammad Hatem.
Knitwear factories based in Narayanganj will remain closed in line with the lockdown in the district, said BKMEA Director Fazle Shameem Ehsan.
"People are unable to move anywhere, even to banks and offices, because Narayanganj city has been locked down. As a result, RMG businessmen face challenges in opening bank accounts and making transactions," he added.
A good number of factories have scheduled to pay their workers by April 15 and 16, he added.
BKMEA sources said the association has 834 running factories. Of those, 317 had paid their workers by April 6.
The government on Friday further extended the ongoing nationwide shutdown till April 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in Bangladesh.