A total of 93.4 per cent of the surveyed readymade garment (RMG) workers in Bangladesh faced up to 65 per cent cut in wages during the Covid-19 period, according to a latest report.
Besides, 10.38 per cent workers reported that they faced reduction in overtime money while instances of wage due for two to four months, delayed payment and a reduction in bonus were also reported.
The report also found violations of legal provisions including limit of overtime, appointment letter and service book.
About 92.1 per cent did overtime while 40 per cent overtime work exceeded the legal limit and violation is rampant in knit factories.
Verbal (93 per cent) and psychological (86.7 per cent) harassment frequently took place while the report recorded the existence of sexual and physical harassment by 32.6 per cent and 27.2 per cent.
The findings of the report titled ‘Rights Implementation Status of Women Workers in Bangladesh’s Ready-Made Garment Industries’ by Care Bangladesh were disclosed at a webinar held on Monday.
The survey was conducted on 390 RMG women workers from Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj.
Though the majority of the workers responded that they received identity cards, 23 per cent reported not having appointment letter while 27 per cent received the appointment letter after joining the job, said the study researcher Mostafiz Ahmed.
Despite improvement, the last amendment to the labour law has created tensions among workers, he said.
“It has created a scope to expand daily working hours, not increasing the maternity leave to make it consistent with government sector employees/workers,” he explained.
Moreover the law still misses specific provisions on accommodation, pension, medical allowance, rehabilitation, alternative skill development, violence against women at the workplace and workers’ skill development, Ahmed added.
Majority of the workers are deprived of receiving service book from both the present and previous employer while 40 per cent are not even aware of their signature required at service book, according to the report.