Application of Labor Laws and Other Compliances in Readymade Garment Industry of Bangladesh
Social Science Research Network
Although, the economy of Bangladesh is primarily dependent on agriculture, Readymade Garment (RMG) industry has emerged as the largest earner foreign currency of Bangladesh in recent years. More than 75% of foreign earnings are coming through export from this very important sector of Bangladesh. In study of Islam & Chowdhuri,  presently more than four million workers are working in 4,500 RMG companies of Bangladesh in which 90% are illiterate women who are from the rural areas of the
... reas of the country. 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. But, it is a concern of the national and internal observers that the 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 that make the lives of the workers very misery. Sometimes, the female 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 the compliances in RMG industry of Bangladesh that is the only protective measures of the large number of female workers of this 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. 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, 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.