Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BGMEA starts salary disbursement for Rana Plaza victims

After daylong dithering, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association last night started salary disbursement to the affected Rana Plaza workers at Savar Cantonment.
Earlier in the day, BGMEA had adjourned salary disbursement due to the presence of middlemen and worker agitation.
About 400 workers lined up to get salary last night after Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, coordinator of the rescue operations at Rana Plaza, stepped in to help the disbursement.
“We could not start the disbursement earlier as we found a large group of middlemen when we arrived. A demonstration was also taking place,” said Rafiqul Islam, joint secretary of BGMEA, who was assigned with the task.
“The disbursement will continue as long as it takes,” he said.
The trade body initially planned to hand out three months’ salary and payment for 40-days’ earned leave to the workers of the four garment factories housed at the collapsed Rana Plaza on May 7.
As the worker list of Ether Tex Ltd, one of the five factories, could not yet be determined, the BGMEA announced on Monday that its salary disbursement plan has been postponed.
To protest, the workers blockaded the Dhaka-Aricha Highway between 11am and 12pm yesterday.
Upon hearing, the BGMEA decided to give out compensation to workers of the four factories whose payroll has already been verified.
Some 3,617 workers of New Wave Style, New Wave Bottoms, Phantom Apparels and Phantom-Tac were due to receive their three months’ salary at Savar Cantonment.