An entirely avoidable catastrophe


What was expected of the workers should have been communicated to them clearly and without confusion

Given the sheer impact that the Covid-19 virus has had on Bangladesh, and indeed the globe, the primary need of the hour is concerted effort from each and every sector of our society in ensuring that the virus does not spread. 

To that end, the recent incident where hundreds if not thousands of RMG workers who had been away from the capital were all but compelled to travel long distances return to work, was incredibly unfortunate and could surely have been avoided with better planning and communication. 

At a time when the nation is essentially in lockdown, the factory owners as well should have considered how RMG workers who had travelled to their hometowns would come back to their workplaces, not to mention the question of the wisdom of re-opening the factories in the first place.  

If the need was for the government to officially extend the shutdown, then that conversation could surely have been had with government in a timely fashion.

Most importantly, what was expected of the workers should have been communicated to them clearly and without confusion, at the industry level. 

Given the economic toll that the coronavirus has had on the country, is it any wonder that workers would come back to the city en masse in fear of losing their jobs? Indeed, the situation was worsened by the fact that some RMG factories reportedly threatened employees with termination if they failed to come back to work on the announced date.  

While it is good to see many RMG factories backtracking on their previous re-opening dates before any more RMG workers were forced to come back, this entire sorry incident could have been prevented with better planning, coordination, and above all, communication.