The government on Monday reiterated its call on garment factory owners to refrain from terminating any workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Some 80 factories, mostly garment, had terminated around 25,000 workers from June 01 to June 15, despite the government's repeated call not to do so.
The ministry also asked for paying lawful benefits and other allowances to the workers, who had already lost their jobs during the virus outbreak.
The reiteration came at a meeting held at the labour ministry presided over by state minister Monnujan Sufian.
The meeting was convened to review the labour situation in the country's industrial sectors, especially in the readymade garment sector as factory owners are allegedly terminating thousands of workers, participants said.
Leaders of the country's textile and garment sector, including the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association or BGMEA, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association or BKMEA and the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association or BTMA, however, did not attend the meeting.
Meantime, the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments or DIFE under the labour ministry presented a list that revealed that 80 factories have terminated a total of 24,860 workers since June 01, meeting sources said.
The DIFE reported the highest 13,750 workers were terminated from 38 factories located in Dhaka, followed by 9,839 workers from 33 factories located in Gazipur, 560 from three Narayanganj factories.
A Narsingdi factory terminated 552 workers and three Chattogram factories terminated 91 workers.
The majority of the terminated workers have yet to receive their monthly wages and other allowances as the process is going on, the DIFE report said, adding some factories have paid the wages and other allowances.
When asked, labour secretary KM Abdus Salam said the meeting decided that no workers could be terminated.
"Termination is an 'inhuman' word. Factories should refrain from terminating workers," he told the FE on Monday after the meeting.
The meeting also stressed the need for strictly maintaining the required health safety guidelines, he added.
The workers were unemployed or lost jobs as factories were closed over various reasons, including shortage of work orders amid the pandemic, a participant quoted a BGMEA official, who was in the meeting, as saying.
If the factories fail to run operations or closed down, how they could pay workers sitting idle, the meeting was informed.