Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of garment factories have shown courage to hire more new employees.
The entrepreneurs acknowledged that they had done the new recruitments to continue their production and some had done so in a bid to implement their expansion plans despite some uncertainties over the future of the industry.
At that time, most of the garment factories fell in trouble due to the cancellation of orders by international fashion brands and buyers.
A number of factories also faced uncertainty over paying wages to workers. Additionally, workers were also in fear of losing jobs.
At that time, the government announced stimulus packages for the apparel sector so that they could provide monthly wages to their workers from April-June last year.
Entrepreneurs said they were able to take such a bold step thanks to the government's stimulus package and orders continued by some buyers.
During the pandemic, Gazipur-based Hannan Group has employed around 1,600 workers aiming to continue production in its five garment factories as it has sent as many as 1,357 workers into isolation.
Its chairman ABM Shamsuddin said after the factories reopened on 26 April last year, we have employed them as 90% of our suspended orders have returned with a tight delivery deadline and new orders are coming too.
"When we observed some workers being infected with Covid-19, that time; we rented some houses to quarantine and treat them. At the same time, we also hired new workers to meet the deadline."
Like Hannan Group, Dhamrai-based Snowtex Group has also recruited about 3,000 people during the pandemic. At present, the total number of employees of Snowtex Group is about 13,000.
Its Managing Director SM Khaled said "We have recruited new family members as per our expansion plans thanks to some of our buying partners' commitment for placing new orders. It was preparation for the coming days."
"If the situation does not get worse, we will execute our plan as we already secured some orders for that capacity," SM Khaled said.
Narayanganj-based Mozaffar Hossain Spinning Mills Limited, a concern of SIM Group, has recruited 900 workers and officials for its new unit during the pandemic.
Its managing director Mozaffar Hossain said "We have expanded production capacity and recruited new employees aiming to more than double the revenue."
Out of these companies, Envoy Group, Urmi Group, DBL Group, AMC Knit Composite Ltd and Youth Group, have employed more than 10,000 workers despite the pandemic shock.
Some large factories are increasing the number of their employees to meet the work pressure, but at the same time, some are also laying off, said sources of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).
But the associations have no accurate data on last year's new employments.
A collaboration between The Business Standard and Shojag Coalition