Money funds raised through fines tanneries must pay might be allocated to their workers. Employees working in the leather industry companies asked Bangladeshi government to make such decision. In 2017, they formerly created a fund whose primary aim was to support tanneries’ blue-collars. Yet now, because of Covid-19 and its heavily detrimental effects, workers call for further financial aid by using tannery fines their employers are supposed to pay. For the records, employers agree with that.
Tannery fines to be allocated to their workers
“On behalf of workers, I have spoken to the Secretary of Labour and I urged him to take prompt action in order to allocate money funds to workers”, announced Wajed-ul Islam Khan, General Secretary of the Trade Union Centre, while talking to newagebd.net. The union representative is one of the founders of the money fund. As reported by the local daily newspaper, on April 9, 2018 the High Court ordered tanneries, located in the district of Hazaribagh, to pay a fine. Grounds for penalty lie in the delayed relocation of companiesto the new leather cluster, based in Savar. The fine amounts to 50,000 Taka per each company, that is, around 326 euros. On top of that, each tannery must reportedly pay an additional fine, which amounts to 10,000 Taka a day. Yet, companies have filed an appeal, against the second penalty, with the Court of Judicial Review.
No salary for a few weeks
For the records, company chief owners back up their workers on the request they have submitted. It comes as no surprise. Money funds, raised through the payment of fines, can be useful to support blue-collars, who have not worked over the past weeks. According to estimates, about 20,000 workers, currently employed in the 154 tanneriesbased in the cluster, did not get any salary in March. Most of them, around 15,000 people, have a provisional project contract: therefore, they get a pay as long as they work.