- Why Bangladesh
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We Belong We Care
We cannot move forward leaving our society backward. This philosophy makes us realize that we have some responsibilities towards society beyond legal obligations. Out of this sense of responsibility towards the community and environment in which we live and operate, BGMEA has been actively involved in various corporate social responsibility activities for the larger good of society. Despite being a non-profit organization, BGMEA has been making significant contribution to the community with true heart and sincere actions.
Healthcare for Garment Workers
As part of its CSR activities, BGMEA runs 12 Health Centers that provides healthcare facilities and medicines to more than 60,000 garment workers per year at free of cost. The annual expenditure of these centers is around USD 3,00,000 which is funded by BGMEA’s own resources. The centers also provide awareness program on HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, reproductive health and use of contraceptives.
Besides, for RMG workers, a full-fledged hospital is operational in Chittagong, and a 100-bed hospital in Dhaka is under construction. The hospital will provide all kinds of outdoor and indoor healthcare facilities to garment workers at free of cost or at heavily subsidized charges.
BGMEA has set up a PCR lab in collaboration with Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS) at Chandra Tongi and Narayanganj to conduct Covid-19 tests of garment workers.
Schools for Workers' Children
BGMEA runs five schools for garment workers’ children and provides books and study materials at free of cost. BGMEA also provides stipends to the meritorious students.
Support to Lactating Mothers Working in Garment Factories
The lactating mothers need special care, more nutrition and higher calorie as they require more energy in bringing up the newborn babies with sound health. With the Govt. of Bangladesh, BGMEA has been implementing a project since 2014 to support female garment workers with infants. Every beneficiary gets Tk800 per month for 36 months as allowance, totaling Tk28,800 in installments. In 2019-20 financial year, a total of Tk23,32,80,000 has been allocated for disbursement among 8,100 lactating mothers working in garment factories.
Dormitory for Garment Workers
A dormitory for 3000 workers in Chittagong has been set up jointly by the Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) and BGMEA. One more dormitory is going to be set up in Ashulia.
BGMEA ensures mandatory group insurance scheme for the garment workers and staff.
With the suppport of Government of Bangladesh and development partners, BGMEA has been implementing different skill development programs including STEP and SEIP for garment employees and workers through several training centers across the country. The tranied people are placed for jobs in garment factories.
“Digital Wallet” is the RMG digital payment platform envisioned by BGMEA. These newly opened e-accounts will be inter-operable and a vendor neutral platform for electronic wage payment and shopping. The digital payment platform will serve for cashback, reward points and merchant discounts which will increase the value of wages they receive. BGMEA signed an agreement with Information and Communication Technology Division on June 27 to introduce the digital payment platform for the sector. A pilot program was successfully done covering 150 workers from 3 factories.
Moner Bondhu – An Initiative for Workers’ Mental Wellbeing
Moner Bondhu's facilitators engage workers in many stress management and anger management exercises, meditation which work as quick remedy. The workers in the session before were very excited about experiencing a completely new type of session and said that they felt very relaxed. They are also given the opportunity to connect with “Moner Bondhu” by watching the show at Nagorik channel and Moner Bondhu's social media.
Ant-Sexual Harassment Committee
To oversee the activities of the Anti-Harassment Committee formed in the factory level, a committee headed by a Director and another two female members have been formed in BGMEA. Monitors from CMC/SSD cell of BGMEA Dhaka and Chattagram office are visiting factories about formation of Anti-Harassment Committee. As per the visiting report till date a total 1394 factories were visited by the monitors. They found 577 factories where formed Committees.
Apart from BGMEA’s own CSR activities, a good number of garment factories in Bangladesh individually have been engaged in CSR practices like offering treatment and medical facilities such as pathology tests, medicines to their workers and employees at free of cost, running day care centers for the children of workers, awarding stipends to the meritorious children of the workers etc. A number of unique CSR practices also prevail among garment factories. One of these extraordinary practices is employing workers with disabilities in garment factories and ensuring congenial working conditions for them. Providing free lunch, together with food allowances to workers is another unique example of their CSR activities. Fair price shop to provide garment workers with daily essentials at a fair price is an exceptional CSR practice exercised a few garment factories of Bangladesh.
Ensuring Workers Legitimate Rights
BGMEA is committed to ensuring all legitimate rights and privileges of the garment workers. BGMEA mediates to resolve labour related disputes and complaints.
A committee was formed in June 2020 involving representatives of BGMEA and IBC with the BGMEA President in the chair to address labour disputes and complaints in member factories. The committee handled the following types of problems:
• Workers dismissed or retrenched or terminated without wages or benefits
• Dismissed without paying Maternity benefit
• Illegally dismissed/ terminate of trade union leaders.
The committee settled 93 out of 114 complaints it received. And a total of 2961 workers benefited from the dispute settlements mediated by the BGMEA-IBC committee. Besides, The Conciliation-Cum-Arbitration Committee (CAC) settled 1987 out of 2152 complaints in 2019-2020 year. A total of 7080 workers benefited from the settlements. (last updated on 10 March 2021)
BGMEA worked hand in hand with ILO , better works and GIZ on training mid management and workers on their rights and privileges. BGMEA continues to work on training workers on skill development and health issues.