The government instructed the garment factory owners on Thursday to pay wages timely as well as refrain from shutting down any unit and terminating workers in order to avert any labour unrest ahead of the national election, officials said.
It also asked the ready-made garment (RMG) factory authorities to remain vigilant in this regard, they added.
State Minister for Labour Mujibul Haque Chunnu gave the instructions at the 38th meeting of Crisis Management Core Committee, held at his secretariat office in the city.
The meeting was called against the backdrop of recent incidents of labour unrest at some factories in Gazipur and Narayanganj, centring on closure of units, termination of workers, and wage hike, meeting sources said.
Labour Secretary Afroza Khan, Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments Inspector General Md Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, Industrial Police Director General Abdus Salam, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Md Siddiqur Rahman, and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) President Md Salim Osman, among others, were present in the meeting.
The meeting also formed a committee, headed by Gazipur City Corporation Mayor Jahangir Alam, to investigate the closure of New Town Knitwear Company without paying due wages to its workers, according to labour ministry officials.
The ministry asked the committee to complete the investigation, and resolve the issue within seven days, they added.
"The government will not tolerate any unrest in the garment sector ahead of the national election. If any untoward situation takes place due to negligence of factory owners, the ministry will take legal actions against them," the state minister warned.
He said the new wage structure came into effect from the current month, and the workers would get their enhanced wages from next month.
He also suggested the factory owners to discuss with their respective workers and make them understand the new wage structure.
Labour unrest took place in some factories due to misinformation, disseminated by a quarter that the workers' wages would reduce in the new wage structure, apparel leaders said.
They also urged the workers and labour leaders not to be instigated by any vested group and create anarchy in the sector ahead of the national election.