The country’s apparel sector trade bodies -– BGMEA and BKMEA — on Monday claimed that some ‘unruly’ people attacked 60-70 garment factories in Gazipur during the hartal hours and forced the workers to stay out of their workplaces.
“It’s a conspiracy to destabilise the RMG industry although it was out of the hartal purview. BGMEA and BKMEA strongly condemn the attacks,” the trade bodies said in a joint statement.
They urged the authorities concerned to launch a fair investigation into the incidents and bring those involved in the attacks under the ambit of law.
They said the unruly people during the hartal prevented some 1.20 lakh workers from joining their works.
In another joint statement, the trade bodies urged the political parties concerned to keep goods-laden trucks and covered-vans on Dhaka-Chittagong highway out of the purview of hartal so that the exporters can complete their shipments in time.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) also urged the political parties concerned to call off April 9-10 countrywide hartals for the sake of then economy and the export industry.
BGMEA sources said the exporters had to count additional losses of around Tk 250 crore because of air shipments due to hartals in January and February alone.
Export orders worth US$ 2.2 million of 15 factories have so far been cancelled due to frequent shutdowns and timely shipments of export goods worth US$ 7.8 million through seaway have become uncertain also because of shutdowns, they said in a previous statement.
According to the BGMEA sources, the buyers demanded about US$ 0.7 million discount as the exporters failed to make the shipments timely (due to hartal) while the exporters had to count air freights worth US$ 1.71 million.