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After the devastating accident in an apparel factory termed RANA plaza, situated in Savar, almost all the workshop owners became aware of the safety arrangement at that time period, but with time they started to ignore those strategies and make this procedure as flaunt. Every single factory has fire safety devices and all, but the necessary training which is needed by the workers of the factory are continuously ignored.
In FGD almost all the workers agreed on that, some of them once trained about the rules and regulations to escape fire accidents but others are totally unknown about it and are satisfied only by knowing that there are safety devices in their workplace.
Factories are supposed to run drills on fire breakout but most factories arrange this program in a perfunctory way that work does not make head or tail of those drill programs (TIB, 2013).
Most of the factories have two shift doctors for the workers but the problem is most of them practice outside for further income, which is ironically allowed by the factory owner.
As having permanent doctors inside the factory has been become a demand from the buyer, the factory owners have been taking this issue for showing off. Thus, many workers don’t get the chance to consult with doctors when needed. They have to visit the doctor according to the doctor’s time.
On the other hand, if any emergency or accident occurs the companies just pay the immediate treatment expenses as a formality but they don’t take the accountabilities of the total treatment cost.
Some of the factories usually donate an amount which is totally depending on management’s verdict. In this case, the workers have no way to negotiate. The query is how the management could take a decision like this without knowing the demand of the victim.
Karimon grieved on this and said, “Here we have nothing to do, we can just pray to ALLAH for the amount”.
At present time the incidents like, forced labor, physical abuse, over time, etc. are not common apparently, but there is an artifice of the management beneath these incidents, which is what, the workers don’t have to do overtime against their will and they can enjoy the long vacation of 10 days during EID but they have to bear a lot of work pressure before and after the vacation to meet the target of production. In this period, they have to stand for a long time with a very short resting time like one hour, sit on a tool without resting her back and continue the monotonous work as a helper or machine operator. This overburden makes them vulnerable to various disease like low pressure, insomnia, nausea, vomiting tendency, etc.
In addition, during pregnancy, they could not afford the workload so most of them quite from the job. Similarly, the workers are not bound to do extra shifts but with their low wage, they actually could not arrange all the commodities they need in their daily lives. Ultimately this will lead them toward the overtime. The workers realize that they are not bound to do so but the management is continuously pursuing them towards extra shifts.
Regarding this, Jhuma stated that “We are not bound to do overtimes by the management, but we do whenever we want to do it. It is completely up to our decision to do extra shifts”.
She added, “Though the management doesn’t force us to work extra most of the time we have to do this for extra income and most importantly to meet the targets”.
The factories I have visited, both have their own “child care facility” inside the premise, but not a single worker is interested to put her child or children in the facility as there is no trained and responsible warden for them. Rather they prefer to leave the offspring in their home which is also not perfectly safe for their children.
Monica complained that “The nurses or the caretaker are so irresponsible that, she doesn’t care to make the children drinking water and feed in time. So, it is better to leave the children in my residence”.
In one of the factory owners revealed that “It is actually a big hassle for us to maintain the child care facilities which actually demands a lot of expenses. If we want to maintain this, our profit margin will be lessened”.
He added, “We just establish it to maintain the rules determined by the government and the buyers, but we don’t encourage the workers to use it”.
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