Application of Labor Laws and Other Compliances in Readymade Garment Industry of Bangladesh
This paper has been published in the Proceedings of 23rd IAMB Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, held during January 19-20, 2017. (ISSN 1949-9108)
15 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 19, 2017
Although, the economy of Bangladesh is primarily dependent on agriculture, Readymade Garment (RMG) industry has emerged as the largest earner of foreign income of Bangladesh in recent years. More than 75% of foreign earnings are coming from this very important sector of Bangladesh. Presently, more than four million workers are working in 4,500 RMG companies in which 90% are illiterate women came from the rural areas of Bangladesh (Islam & Muntaquimul Bari Chowdhuri, 2014). The policymakers and the employers of this sector claim that the growth of garment sector has helped employing a huge number of rural women that has subsequently developed their socioeconomic status in Bangladesh. But, it is a concern of the national and internal observers that the labor laws and other compliances like factory laws, industrial relations laws, employment laws, payment of wages laws, ILO standards, ethics applied in this sector are hardly followed by the RMG companies which are making the lives of these workers very difficult. Sometimes, these workers are exploited by employing more hours a day without the payment of overtime by capitalizing their illiteracy and submissiveness. Hence, this paper aims at identifying the level of application of the labor laws and other compliances in RMG industry of Bangladesh that is the only protective measures of this large number of female workers of this important sector of Bangladesh. A total of 238 workers of this sector were interviewed in this study with a structured questionnaire. Multivariate analysis techniques such as, Factor Analysis and Multiple Regression Analysis were used to analyze the data collected from the workers on the application of labor laws and other compliances of these companies. The results show that in case of measures for protecting sexual harassment there is a severe problem of the use of the labor laws in this sector followed by physical movement and access control of workers, exit and access path of the company, working hours, and counseling arrangements in the company. This study suggests that the readymade garment companies should address the sexual harassment issue seriously so that the workers will feel safe at their work. They also should focus more on the safety issues, working hours and counseling of the workers in order to make the working environment more favorable to the workers.
Keywords: RMG industry of Bangladesh, Safety and Security, Sexual Harassment, Working Hours, Workers Counseling.
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