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The rapid development of the garments sector, along with its mobilization of workers, has made it a popular issue

of concern among a wide variety of groups in Bangladesh, including policy makers, activists and scholars. Despite this attention, many basic questions about the industrys workers remain unanswered, hampering the effective assessment of the impact of macro policies on the sector. This paper looks at the factors and processes that underlie the mobilization of the garments labour force. The materials for this paper are drawn from a qualitative study based on interview with a !arment worker. The interview for the study was guided by an open ended questionnaire. "e have interviewed #uma, a garment worker, now working as an $perator. %he &oined in garment factory in '((). "hen she was young, a relative brought her to Dhaka and put her in a &ob, as a live in domestic in a persons house. *t that time her mother and father were not living in Dhaka. %o from a very young age she has been working in peoples homes. %he could not stand it anymore. +ts a lot of work, all day and night, and then there are a lot of hassles with people. %he was constantly getting scolded, getting hit. %o she had left and came to her mother who was living in the bastee ,squatter settlement- with her younger brothers and sisters. %he ,mother- was angry at first but then the people living around them said. /"hy dont you send your daughter to garments0 * woman, who is well respected in their neighborhood, said to her mother. /1our daughter has been working as a servant for a long time. !ive her some relief2 let us take her to garments. #uma thought that the problem with garments had been that sometimes she got the salary and sometimes she didnt. %till she thinks, this is better than working in peoples homes. %he thought at the initial time of working that +f she could become an operator then her salary would be higher and her family would be able to live better. +n garments people dont have to work all the time, sometimes people get 3ridays off, and sometimes can finish work at 4 p.m.

Personal Profile of the Worker:


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5ame. #uma Begum *ge. '6 7ducation. 8lass 6 !ender. 3emale 9arital %tatus. :nmarried 8urrent 7mployer. #aymond !arments ;td. ;ocation. *gargaon, %her e Bangla 5agar, Dhaka Designation. $perator

Company Overview:
Raymond Garments Ltd. established in early <))= with an overview to establish a state of art #eadymade !arments factory where buyers will fell real comfort to use the facility to produce their products. The company is located in *gargaon, %her e Bangla 5agar of Dhaka. The company is having well e>perienced and highly professional staff and workforces . 9ore than '((( workers are working in #!;. +t is specialized in producing various styles of readymade garments Basic ? 3ancy "oven %hirt@Blouse A9ens, Boys ? !irlsB ? school wear etc. *t present, the garments products are e>ported to all over the worlds, such as the :nited %tates, !ermany, %witzerland, 3rance, 5etherland and :C. The company has advanced technology2 the monthly production capacity is D,((,((( pieces. Brand new machines directly imported from manufacturers. 9achine Brands are E Fuki, Cansai, Gegasus, +D7*, 5gai %hing, C.9. Hashima. *rea of #!; is I',((( square feet in si> floors A!round, <st, 'nd, Drd, 6th? 4th floorB.

Conditions of Employment:
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Two types of workers are recruited in the factory. $ne is Germanent basis and the other is temporary basis. *lmost all of the cases the management does not provide appointment letters@ contract letters but they are provided identity cards and service books. They are also provided with some service rules or standing orders.

Salary, enefits and !ompensation:


Basic wages: #uma gets salary on monthly basis. +nitial salary of #uma, when she was an entry level worker, was Tk.<=((. 5ow she gets Tk. 6D(( as a senior operator. %ometime she needs to stay for long hours. Bonus & Other facilities: Germanent workers get two festival bonuses every year. The bonus amount is half of their basic wages. Juite a few times company provides profit bonuses for the workers. 8ompany also neither provide any wages during strike of the workers nor provide wages if company faces any ma&or accidents which stops production activities. The company awards overtime payments for them. #uma gets Tk. 6( for every single hour stay other than working hours. Compensations: There is no gratuity or provident fund for them. There is no health insurance policy, employment insurance policy workers savings and welfare funds for the workers. $nly work mans accident compensation funds available.

Workin" #o$rs:
*ccording to #uma, they work si> days weekly. There is no single male or female worker who works only for = hours. 9ost of the workers are working for long time. %ome workers work always more than eight to ten hours and some workers sometimes more than ten to twelve hours. *fter regular working hours, workers en&oy overtime according to their daily hour basis. They work on two shift basis. 3or the rest and meal, workers are provided one hour break during working hours.

Report on Garment Worker Ruma

Leave and #olidays:


#umas employer provides different types of leaves which are mentioned in tabular forms. Heading "eekly Holiday 8asual ;eave %ick ;eave 3estival ;eave *nnual ;eave 9aternity ;eave A3emale workersB 5o. of days < day = days a year <' days a year <' days a year 5ot *pplicable :sually D months

+f any accident happens during working hours for machinery faults or breakdown then company provides leave taking regards of medical certificates from the registered physician. 9aternity leave awarded for permanent female workers but not for temporary female workers. During business pick time workers work on holidays and for that they are paid one day salary with dearness allowance. ;ater they can ad&ust their leave at other days when pressure of manufacturing is relatively low.

#ealth and Safety meas$res at Workpla!e:


#uma is working in #aymond !arments ;td. +t is a multi storied building. Health and Hygiene: The accumulation of dirt and refuge are removed daily by sweeping. The floor of every work room washed by using disinfectant at least once in every week. Groper ventilation is maintained so that fresh air circulation is available. *fter finishing working hour, daily waste and debris are removed by the dedicated workers. 7mployer does not provide any filtrate water as drinking water. *s the numbers of latrines are very few in respect to the number of workers so the latrines remain un cleaned most of the times. Safety measures: 8ompany has fire fighting apparatus but not in adequate amount. There are some fire alarms also. There are two free passages with e>it points only. The interviewee informed that they are not aware about safety measures. The factory management does not organize any fire fighting demonstration for them at workplace. Building compliances and machinery compliances are not strictly maintained.

Report on Garment Worker Ruma

Welfare meas$res:
During working hours if any minor accident happens then for the primary medication there is a first aid bo>, but there is no registered physician employed in the factory. 9anagement does not provide any training and development facilities. There is no food canteen as well as recreational facilities. There is no day care center for children of female workers.

Re!ommendations:
The amount which #uma and the other workers receive is very few to even survive in this city where rising prices of essential commodities have made the matter worse. %ometimes even this small amount of money cut for absence of work on a particular day. %ometimes they do not get the payment on time. %o they even fail to survive with this amount. #9! sector in Bangladesh has come a long way in last two decades. The industry has crossed many hurdles to stay competitive. "e would like to sum it up by recommending the followings.
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Groper work place policy to ensure the basic rights of garments workers. Groper enforcement of e>isting labour code and improvement of labour inspections at factory level. 3reedom of association and right to bargain collectively at factory level need to be ensured by government. $rganize e>tensive workers education and training activity in the area of labour law, occupational health and safety and reproductive health issue by trade unions and labour rights support group.

Development of leadership quality and knowledge among female workers in garments sector to effectively fight to protect reproductive health rights of women workers in #9! sector.

7nsure basic occupational health services at factory level for workers by employer and management.

Report on Garment Worker Ruma