The operations of nine state-owned jute mills in Khulna and Jashore regions started partially on Sunday morning after one month following the coronavirus outbreak.
The workers will have to maintain social distancing while working to avoid the risk of coronavirus.
According to Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), there are roughly 10,000 permanent workers at the nine jute mills. The mills were closed on March 26 following the outbreak of novel coronavirus in the country.
The authorities took the decision after a discussion with heads of the jute mills on April 23. They considered the overall condition of coronavirus crisis and decided to run the factories with workers at the mill colony on April 25.
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Murad Hossain, joint convener of state-owned Jute CBA-Non-CBA Sangram Parishad and former CBA president of Crescent Jute Mill, said the mills were closed due to coronavirus outbreak. They reopened the mills partially to cover losses.
The workers got assurance that they will get two months’ salary within April 30, he added.
Md Golam Rabbani, project director of Platinum Jute Mills, said the mills will open at 5am and continue until 2pm. Workers will get an hour’s break.
If the workers who are staying outside the mills colony are unable to attend work due to lockdown, it will be considered as a normal holiday.
The operations of the mills will continue this way till May 5. The next decision will be taken as per the government direction, he added.
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) Khulna Region Coordinator Md Bonoj Uddin Mia said they decided to run the mills partially following the scarcity of jute packets and sacks in the country.
They will produce the jute goods as per the demands of foods and agriculture departments but not to export.
The local workers can only join mills maintaining social distancing as per the health rules to avoid the risk of coronavirus infection.