New Age News: 25.02.2013
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has urged all concerned to make their additional efforts to ensure welfare of the garment workers as well as their safety. She said the present government was making constant efforts for welfare of the garment workers and their safety in working places. Minimum wages of garment workers in Bangladesh has been increased by 82 per cent by the present government comparing to 60 per cent increase in Indonesia over the last few years, she said.
The prime minister said this while distributing cheques of compensation among the families of victims of recent devastating fire at the Smart Fashion Garments in the city as part-payment of a compensation package constituted by local exporters and foreign buyers. Hasina said her government had strengthened the fire service and civil defence to make the organisation enable to respond to any devastating fire incident and start rescue operation as quick as possible.
Industry All, a forum of buyers, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association jointly constituted the package under which each of the families of the deceased garment workers would be given compensation of Tk 12,49,000. Out of that amount, Tk 2 lakh was given by BGMEA and BKMEA and rest of the amount was provided by IndustriALL-Global Union.
The prime minister handed over cheques of Tk 6.85 lakh to each of the families of five deceased garment workers out of total Tk 10,90,000 to be given by IndustriALL-Global Union. Under the package, IndustriALL will also provide 10 per cent amount of their stake to each family for education of two children of a deceased garment worker, and every injured garment worker would get Tk 5 lakh. General secretary of IndustriALL-Global Union Yorki Raina, president of BGMEA Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and Sudharsan Rao of IndustriALL spoke among others on the occasion.
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan, state minister for labour and employment Munnujan Sufian, state minister for LGRD and cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak and leaders of IndustriALL Bangladesh chapter and BGMEA and BKMEA were present.
A total of eight garment workers were burnt alive and 20 others injured in the fire at Smart Fashion Garments on January 26, 2013.