Amidst reports of workers’ retrenchment, especially those employed in the readymade garment industry, a recent survey carried out by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) found around 13 per cent people have lost their jobs on account of coronavirus pandemic, while a significant number of respondents have reported sharp fall in income.
The BIDS’ survey report (In the Shadow of COVID – Coping, Adjustments, Responses) — carried out among 30,000 people and reportedly covering all divisions and districts from 5 to 29 May — was unveiled on Wednesday.
As per the finding of the report, those from the lower income group had to suffer the most in terms of employment and income with 23.31 per cent of respondents in the income bracket of Taka 5,000-15,000 reporting around 50 per cent income reduction compared to the previous month’s earning, while 19.23 per cent respondents with income less than Taka 5,000 reporting income reduction of a massive 75 per cent.
It may be mentioned here that as per reports, around 21,331 workers, most of whom were employed in the readymade garment sector of the country, have reportedly lost their jobs since Eid.
The report, which cited data collated by the country’s Industrial Police, underlined of the 21,331 workers who were employed with around 129 factories spread across six industrial zones that are under the jurisdiction of the Industrial Police, 19,409 were said to be employed with garment and textile units.
Further, of these 19,409 workers, 2,298 are from 16 factories that are under the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), while 16,853 were reportedly employed with around 86 factories that are members of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The remaining 258 retrenched workers were reportedly working in four mills that are under the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA).
However, labour leaders have claimed that the total number of retrenched workers would be much higher as factories were allegedly sacking workers randomly without any notice.
Also, to be taken into account, is the fact that the figures collated by the Industrial Police are from the six industrial zones whereas as a large number of factories are located outside the industrial zones as well.