The National Garment Workers' Federation has called for a maximum lay-off period of 45 days. The demand was made at a human chain organized by the federation in front of the National Press Club on Friday.
Amirul Haque Amin, president of the federation, said that previously, if there was no or less work in the factory, workers would be laid off for the first 45 days and an additional 15 days. In total, the lay-off period was a maximum of 60 days. Employers then had to compensate the workers according to their reinstatement or dismissal.
But the employers have been recently laying off the workers for months, providing only 40% of their salaries, which is having an adverse impact on them, Amin added.
The speakers claimed that many garment factory owners are harassing the workers by increasing the lay-off period to three, four, or even five months under various pretexts and paying the workers nominal wages, forcing them to find employment elsewhere.
This is to the owners' benefit since they do not have to pay compensation, the speakers further said.
To overcome this situation and protect workers' interests, speakers at the human chain called for a maximum lay-off period of 45 days.
At the end of the rally, garment workers marched with red flags in front of the press club. The procession travelled around various thoroughfares of the city, eventually ending at the central office of the federation at the capital's Topkhana Road.