After nervous days the factories shut due to worker protests have reopened with workers going back to gamble with their luck on the numerous crumbling buildings in Dhaka.
After the collapse of the Savar Rana Plaza, the panic of a possible building-collapse spread to two other apparel factories in Savar after a few days day. Several hundred workers of Mondol Fashion at Jirabo and Fateha Knit Wear at Sobhanbag rushed out of the factories in panic. The apparel factories in the area were declared shut after the incident. However, on reopening, it is again in the factory owner’s term – as they hold the priced bread of a workforce which cannot but work to earn food for their children more than for themselves.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association joint secretary (labour) M Rafikul Islam said the violence took place as the authorities directed to observe national mourning day kept the factories open. Mondol and Fateha were among such factories.
It must be noted that the BGMEA had forced close all the factories in Ashulia for 3 days against worker protests for fairer wages and better working conditions. However, on government request and an eventual surrender of workers in the hands of hunger against the most powerful and only area of work for them, Ashulia factories were declared reopened last Friday.
A new minimum wage is supposed to be inacted soon as already the new Labor Law is coming in force. However, questions still remain on better structures and working conditions for the most important part of the fashion industry supply chain – the worker.