HC questions RMG factory closure

The High Court on Tuesday issued a rule upon the BGMEA and BKMEA to explain in four weeks why the decision of shutting down around 300 garments factories in Ashulia should not be declared illegal.

Following a spate of violence by readymade garment workers demanding a pay hike, leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), two apex platforms of the garment sector, on July 16 shut all the garment factories in the Ashulia industrial belt.

The HC came up with the rule hours after a writ petition was filed challenging the BGMEA and BKMEA's decision of closing around 300 garment factories in Ashulia industrial zone.

The HC bench of Justice Farid Ahmed and Justice Zafar Ahmed also asked the government why it should not be directed to provide securities at garments factories.

Earlier in the day, Mahbubur Rahman Smile, president of Bangladesh Textile-Garments Workers' Association, filed the petition seeking directives from the HC on the authorities concerned to open and run all the garment factories in the industrial zone.

In the petition, Smile prayed to the HC seeking stay the authorities’ decision of closing the garment factories.

The petitioner also stated that as several lakhs of people depend on the sector for their livelihood, so the closure is hampering their fundamental rights.

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