A three-decade-old apparel factory in Dhaka has shut down due to a lack of work orders, a development that can be aligned with the victim list of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shanta Garments Ltd – owned by the Shanta Group – was located in the Dakshin Khan area of the capital.
According to sources, the factory was suffering from labour-union-related problems for a long time, and that is why the owner decided to shut it down.
However, a labour leader said the factory owner laid-off about 2,200 workers as they did not have enough work order to run the unit.
"We signed an agreement regarding the shutdown on June 18 at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA)," said Jolly Talukder, general secretary of Garments Workers' Trade Union Centre.
"Workers, out of sympathy to their owners, have agreed to settle with minimum amount of benefits," she added.
Industry sources said the factory had a good number of reputed buyers such as American Eagle Outfitters, Mark & Spencer, Gymboree, Polo, Chaps, Tommy Hilfiger, Mexx and S Oliver.
The Business Standard contacted its owner Khondoker Jamil Uddin through mobile phone and WhatsApp, but he agreed to make a comment about the shutdown on Wednesday.
Addressing the matter, BGMEA's Director Rezwan Selim said, "The factory owner wanted to close the unit down before Ramadan, but we requested them not to do it. The government had issued a directive asking owners not to close their factories before Eid amid the pandemic.
"The factory owner paid the workers' wages and Eid bonus before closing its doors."
Industry insiders said Shanta Garments Ltd had initially started their business with this unit in 1985, which was then located beside the DCC market in Gulshan area. The factory was later relocated to the Dakshin Kahn area a few years ago.
Shanta Group is a conglomerate of Shanta Garments Ltd and Shanta Apparel Ltd. It also has stakes in the International School Dhaka (ISD) and Dhaka Bank.