A federation of garment workers has demanded emergency allowance and a permanent rationing system for themselves and workers in other sectors as they worked during the coronavirus pandemic to keep the wheels of the economy moving.
The Bangladesh Sangjukto Garments Shramik Federation (United Garments Workers Federation) declared their demands on Sunday in a press release signed by the organisation's General Secretary, Bazlur Rahman Bablu.
The garment workers demanded that the authorities provide an emergency allowance for them, keep prices of essentials within reach of low-income groups, grant workers permanent status within six months of their start date and provide them full service benefits, lay off workers in writing, refrain from dismissing cases filed for verbally laying off workers, and develop a rationing system for workers' families within Tk200.
They also proposed speeding up the economy's growth rate by safeguarding workers and the industry from local and foreign conspirators and imposing appropriate punishment on rapists of women and children, those who plunder the national treasury, money launderers and human traffickers.
The garment workers also demand to be allowed them to form free trade unions in accordance with the ILO Convention, expulsion of all illegal foreign workers and employment of domestic unemployed workers.
The Bangladesh Sangjukto Garments Shramik Federation opines that low-income groups can enjoy their fair rights with the cooperation of all quarters.
They also feared that if low-income workers face a financial crisis and unemployment rises, and expatriate workers continue to return home, social security could be hampered, and societal injustice could increase.