Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The trade bodies of the apparel sector have decided to keep the production in all readymade garment (RMG) factories will remain close for Saturday and Sunday over the Savar tragedy.

The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) announced the decision at a joint press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban in Dhaka on Friday evening.

More than 300 people, mainly female workers, were killed and more than 1,000 were injured when the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory building in Savar, outside the capital, collapsed on Wednesday last.

“We’ve decided to keep shut the factories across the country under BGMEA and BKMEA for smooth rescue activities and treatment of injured people,” Atiqul Islam, president of the BGMEA told reporters while speaking at the joint press briefing.

He also said both BGMEA and BKMEA will clear all the wages and arrears of the workers of the factories located at Rana Plaza within the first week of next month. “It is our responsibility and we would do that.”

Meanwhile, eight organisations of the garment workers have called for a daylong strike on Sunday in all RMG factories across the country in support of their seven-point demand, including the arrest of Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rahna and owners of the garment factories housed in the building.

Prior to work abstention, the organisations working for garment workers’ rights will hold black flag processions across the country on Saturday apart from observing a dawn-to-dusk strike on the day.

The announcement came from a joint press briefing at Pragati Conference Center, Mukti Bhaban in the capital Dhaka on Friday.

The organisations are Garments Sramik Oikya Forum; Garments Sramik Trade Union Kendra; and Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad comprising Bangladesh Textiles Garment Workers Federation, Garments Sramik Sanghati, Jago Bangladesh Garments Sramik Federation, Samannita Garments Sramik Federation, Bangladesh Garments Sramik Mukti Andolon and Biplabi Graments Sramik Sanghati.

BBN/SSR/AD-27Apr13-11:40 am (BST)