Mosammad Rani is working as a swing operator at MG Niche Stitch Limited. Last year, she gave birth to a child and had to have a caesarean section. However, she did not have to spend any money on this.
However surprising it may sound, the story is true. Rani said a health insurance facility is given against the monthly purchase from the 'Fair Price Shop' that is situated at the factory. This facility covered the cost of her operation.
Rani, vice-president of the Worker Participant Committee (WPC) of the Gazipur-based factory, said that to avail this insurance facility, one has to buy products worth Tk1,500 from the shop for three consecutive months.
Asaduzzaman, an official of the factory's HR department, said that the shop sells all kinds of daily necessities at a 10% discount.
Other benefits for the workers in the factory include free schooling for the children of the workers, attendance bonus of Tk500 per month, annual attendance bonus, free higher education facility, and loan facility for the workers.
According to Asaduzzaman, during the Covid-19 period, all the facilities are continuing except for the education-related ones.
During the general holiday period during the pandemic, the company paid the workers from April to June with the help of the government's stimulus package.
At that time, the company paid the workers 65% of their salaries. After that on 26 April, when the factory opened, the workers who joined the work were paid 100% of the salary and those who could not join were paid 65% of their salaries.
However, those who did not join work even after June were no longer paid.
Meanwhile, the company has given leave to 15 elderly, 20 pregnant women and 19 lactating mothers for their safety during the pandemic while paying them full salaries.
Muslim Gazi, 51, has been a storeman of the company since 1999 and was given one extra month off with full pay because of the pandemic.
"I later joined work when the infection rate decreased. I also received the vaccine with the help of the company," Gazi said.
If a worker works for a year in the company, they can get a loan facility against their salary. A worker can receive around Tk50,000 in loan and each month, a certain amount of money is adjusted from the borrower's salary.
Nayan Mia is working in the company as a safety officer and he borrowed money from the company to do a diploma in fire service.
"I needed to deposit a certain amount of money to do the diploma course so I took a loan from the company to get admitted," he said.
Saiful Islam, manager of the company's HR, admin and compliance department, said the factory requires extra money for the welfare of workers and even in the pandemic, the company is working for the well-being of the workers.
Founded in 2016, the garment company currently employs 1,420 people. Of these, 60% are women and 40% are men. In 2019, the company exported clothes worth a total of Tk138 crore.
A collaboration between The Business Standard and Shojag Coalition.