Apparel factories in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) resume operation from tomorrow (Thursday) after five days of closure as the government has assured the investors of providing optimum security for their property including the industrial units.
Members of the Bangladesh EPZ Investors' Association (BEPZIA) agreed to reopen the factories after a meeting with the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) at its office Tuesday.
"The new executive chairman of the BEPZA decided to reopen the factories in the DPEZ. We are following his order and we are hopeful that he will ensure our security," said BEPZIA Chairman Kihak Sung in a video conference from South Korea.
He said the investors will follow the BEPZA rules for solving all kinds of problems.
"Yes, we are satisfied with the new Executive Chairman's commitment in resolving the whole problem. We are all very satisfied with the actions taken by him," Sung said.
The new Executive Chairman of BEPZA Brigadier General Ashraf Abdullah Yusuf assured BEPZIA members that his organisation would take necessary actions in the event of recurrence of violence in the DPEZ either by insiders or outsiders, Sung added.
"We are convinced with the security measures promised by the newly appointed BEPZA executive chairman," said Kawsar Rahman, a member of the BEPZIA.
After a three-hour long meeting, Brigadier General Ashraf told newsmen that the BPEZA would ensure security to the investors by deploying an adequate number of law enforcers in and around the industrial enclave.
"All the investors in the DPEZ have agreed to follow the rules of the BEPZA. If they follow these rules properly, about 80 to 90 per cent demands of the workers will be fulfilled," Yusuf told the reporters.
He said the BEPZA will provide enough security to the investors so that they can work there without facing any further violence.
"Only the genuine workers will be allowed to enter the DEPZ. Outsiders will not be allowed to enter the area," he said.
If outsiders or workers of the factories inside try to resort to any unruly activity in the DPEZ, the law enforcers will take stern action against them, he said.
But, the investors also have to follow the rules of the BEPZA to fulfill the rightful demands made by the workers, he said.
"If we find any factory is not following the BEPZA rules, the BEPZA or the government will take legal actions against the owner of that particular factory," he said.
Yusuf said investors assured the BEPZA that they would possibly be able to give the workers their due wages by Thursday next. "If it is not possible, they will clear all the dues by Monday next (June 12)," he said.
Replying to queries of newsmen, the BEPZA chairman said the first priority of the Tuesday's meeting was to ensure security for reopening the closed factories, not the compensation.
Prior to the resumption of operation, the BEPZA will hold a meeting with Workers' Representatives and Welfare Committee (WRWC) today (Wednesday) at the DEPZ where some 63,000 workers have been employed.