Despite the availability of low-cost loans to pay wages, repeated requests from the labor ministry and a recent uptick in work orders from international buyers, apparel workers in Bangladesh factories are still being sacked. This month alone, another 1,000 workers lost employment, according to Amirul Haque Amin, president of the National Garment Workers Federation.
The actual number of workers who lost jobs in recent months is a lot higher than the estimate of the DIFE as many were not registered properly, he said.
Bangladesh's garment factories have been among the worst-hit as the coronavirus pandemic caused the demand for apparel items to collapse in Western markets, forcing them to shutter operations after the contagion hit the shores of the country in late March.
The laying off came although the government has given the factory owners a stimulus package to pay wages and salaries to the workers, the labour leader said.
On the eve of the countrywide shutdown, the government unveiled a Tk 5,000-crore emergency package for exporters to help them pay wages and salaries to workers. However, the pace of laying off has started to drop off as the factories are receiving an increased amount of work orders after the opening up of stores in Europe and the US, the main destinations of Bangladesh's garment items.