View with images and charts "Quality of Work Life of RMG Industry in Bangladesh- An Analysis to find out the Influential Factors.” Objective: A high quality of work life (QWL) is essential for organizations to continue to attract and retain employees. In health organizations, such as hospitals, specifically clinical laboratories, QWL has been described as referring to the strength and weakness in total work environment. Health professionals such as clinical laboratories’ employees are exposed to critical influence and pressures when socialized into work environment. The requirements of CLIA and JCAHO have focused labs attention on the need for a formal system of employees’ QWL assessment and documentation. The objective of this study was to look into positive and negative attitude of Tehran University of Medical Sciences Hospitals’ Clinical Laboratories’ employees from their quality of work life (QWL). Organizational development (OD) and Quality-of-work- life (QWL) systems are compared and contrasted. It has long been felt that QWL systems would not succeed in the public sector. The feasibility of applying QWL in local government is demonstrated in Pima County, Arizona. There labor and management developed a QWL system for the Department of Transportation, county health-care- center and Department of Health. This system is discussed and analyzed. Data, including interviews and questionnaires, suggest success of this effort. Literature on QWL is limited and several studies commonly correlates with job satisfaction but no study on QWL has associated with career related factors. This empirical study was done to predict QWL in relation to career-related dimensions. The sample consists of 475 managers from the free trade zones in Malaysia for both the multinational corporations (MNCs) and the small-medium industries (SMIs). The result indicates that three exogenous variables are significant: career satisfaction, career achievement and career balance, with 63% of the variance in QWL. 1.1)
Introduction of the report:
Historically, work has occupied an important place in the life of human beings. How people have thought and felt about the working experience has also been an age old concern for both workers and managers. The term quality of working life (QWL) was probably coined originally at the first international conference on QWL at Arden House in 1972 (Davis & Cherns, 1975). Mills (1978) probably coined the term quality of working life and suggested that it had moved permanently into the vocabulary of unions and management, even if a lot of the people using it were not exactly sure what territory it covered. During the twentieth century, our social science conceptualizations regarding work have been labeled scientific management, human relations, socio-technical systems theory, and now possibly holistic learning organizations. Cherns (1978) argued that:
QWL owes its origins to the marriage of the structural, systems perspective of organizational behavior with the interpersonal, human relations, supervisory-style perspective. Quality of working life has also been viewed in a variety of ways including: (a) As a movement; (b) As a set of organizational interventions, and (c) As a type of working life felt by employees. This study contributes to the literature on quality of work life (QWL) by testing the relationship between QWL and job performance by using questionnaires to survey a sample of 475 managers in a manufacturing industry in Malaysia. The results indicated a significant positive relationship between QWL and job performance. A two-factor model with correlated factors was postulated and supported. Structural equation modeling procedures showed that the two constructs are highly correlated (r = 0.94) and represent a distinct concern on work life. Implications of results and directions for future research are offered. 1.2)
Objective of the study:
Project QUALITY has eight objectives defined to operationally the primary aims of the project. To elaborate theoretically, methodologically and empirically the concept of quality of life; to analyze quality of life for men and women in the eight partner countries based on existing internationally-comparative datasets, e.g. European Quality of Life Survey; The World Database of Happiness. To gain insight into the quality of life of citizens in the partner countries within the context of their working situation, by setting up new quantitative research projects in all participating countries. To analyze the institutional context of each participating country based on national expert meetings and relevant policy documents, by mapping out which current socio-economic trends are expected to have an impact on the quality of work of men and women and on their work-life balance. To gain insight in what healthy and socially sustainable organizations are, by examining the perspectives of managers and other employees in one organization in each country, and by exploring the links between perceptions of healthy organizations and employee well being and quality of life. To develop an instrument on the social quality of European workplaces by selecting the relevant items for social quality based on the overall analyses of data on quality of life, as mentioned under. 1.3)
Quality of work has been defined as ‘better jobs and more balanced ways of combining working life with personal life’ (Euro found, 2006). As the concept of QWL is multidimensional it may not, of course, be universal. However, key concepts tend to include job security, reward systems, pay and opportunity for growth among other factors (Rossi et al, 2006). “Quality of life” may describe a person or group’s standard of living, environment, public health and safety, and/or general surroundings, the quality of a person’s “work life” encompasses things that affect their well-being during the working day, such as salary and benefits, facilities, the potential for advancement, and work/life balance. The evolution of QWL began in late 1960s emphasizing the human dimensions of work by focusing on the quality of the relationship between the worker and the working environment. QWL as a discipline began in the U.S. in September 1972 when the phrase was coined at a “democratization of work” conference held at Columbia University’s Arden House to discuss two movements. The first was a political movement in Western Europe called ‘Industrial Democracy’. Militant, socialist labor unions were lobbying the parliaments and assemblies of England, France, West Germany, Sweden and Italy to legislate worker participation in corporate decision-making. The second movement was the emergence in the U.S. of a number of social science theories about “humanizing the workplace” . This shows that the model that evolved during the early years called for formalizing labor-management cooperation at Workplace by establishing joint committees at various levels to define, diagnose and devise solutions to day-to-day work problems. For instance, participation programs emerged from contract bargaining between General Motors Corporation and United Auto Workers Union was called Quality of Work Life in 1973 which was aimed at increasing workers’ satisfaction with their jobs by giving them more information and a voice in decision making It was around 1900 that F.W. Taylor developed what are commonly known as the Principles of Scientific Management which till today form the basis for designing jobs in most organizations. The traditional job design of scientific management focuses mostly on division of labor, hierarchy, close supervision and the one best way of doing work. No doubt has brought several benefits to society but it’s disadvantage has been its high human cost. The highly specialized jobs have made workers socially isolated from their fellow workers weakened their community of interest in the whole product and deskilled them to such an extent that workers have lost pride in their work. The system of hierarchy has made workers totally dependent upon their superior. It is always the superior and not his subordinates who initiates actions and controls the
working environment. Close supervision further accentuates workersâ€™ dependence on their superiors. The result is high turnover and absenteeism. Quality declines and workers become alienated. Now, as workers are becoming more and more educated, skilled, affluent and unionized the above dysfunctional consequences of work are becoming less and less acceptable. 11 is no longer possible to design jobs solely according to the needs of technology completely overlooking the needs of workers. There is an all round demand for developing the humanized jobs which can satisfy workersâ€™ higher needs, employ their higher skills and make them better citizens, spouses and parents. The jobs need to be excellent both from the point of view of technology and human needs. The traditional job design needs to be replaced by enriched job design. This demand for redesigning of jobs has come to be known as Quality of Work Life. It enjoins management to treat workers as human resources that are to be developed rather than simply used. 1.4) How Do Employees Perceive QWL? A number of researchers and theorists have been interested in the meaning of the QWL concept and have tried to identify the kinds of factors that determine such an experience at work. A significant by-product of the approach to the quality of working life discussed has been the identification of those aspects of jobs and work environments that impact most strongly upon the job satisfaction, job performance, and life-long well being of those who are so employed. The findings of a literature search for various features defining QWL led to an identification of two general factors namely work/work environment and employee welfare and well being. Within the first factor are included such features as democracy, task content/physical features of the job, quantity and quality of leisure time created by the job, and promotion. The second broad QWL factor mainly emphasizes employee welfare and well-being. That emphasized the physical working environment includinG safe and healthy working conditions while stressed security, equity, and individuation of the employee as features of a quality working experience, emphasized job security, good pay, and benefits respectively. Healthy social relations and social integration were two other employee welfare features thought to comprise QWL. 1.5) Culture for Quality of Work Life: It means that employees receive both personal and work-related support from the company. In a company supportive of a positive Quality of Work Life, employees:
Are able to balance their work and personal demands effectively (Balance); Have challenging but reasonable work loads (Work Load). Are treated fairly regardless of demographic differences such as gender and race (Diversity). Perceive a reasonable level of job security (Job Security); and Have the tools, materials and equipment they need to perform their jobs effectively (Resources). 1.6) Objective: The success of any organization is highly dependant on how it attracts, recruits, motivates, and retains its workforce. Today's organizations need to be more flexible so that they are equipped to develop their workforce and enjoy their commitment. Therefore, organizations are required to adopt a strategy to improve the employees’ quality of work life'(QWL) to satisfy both the organizational objectives and employee needs. This case lets discuss the importance of having effective quality of work life practices in organizations and their impact on employee performance and the overall organizational performance. 1.7) Know Objective on Probationary Period: Objectives on probationary period are: •
Statements of what should be achieved in the role (including how and when) within the employee’s probationary period to ensure that they have a full understanding of the requirements of the post, the Area and company. These objectives are agreed soon after appointment (but ideally within the first week) in a discussion between the employee and their line manager.
Specific to the activities of the new employee, as detailed in the job description, and are clearly defined to avoid misinterpretation.
Clear and measurable that Line managers will therefore indicate how the objectives will be measured and what indicators they will use to check whether objectives have been met.
Set during the probation period shall be realistic. Some work may extend beyond the probationary period and in this case, it will be necessary to break the tasks/project down to set realistic objectives.
Will be linked to a timescale that the line manager shall arrange review meetings at appropriate points throughout the probation period to reflect the timescale of the objectives set. The line manager shall give the employee the appropriate support/guidance (including training) necessary to help them achieve the set objectives.
To avoid slow page load, seems that I have to break this session to two parts. Therefore you may interest to continue your reading to: Probation Period (III).
1.8) Competitive Advantage: For years, writers and circuit speakers have told us that people in an organization are .the most important resource. With so much emphasis, you might think that creating an organizational culture celebrating the importance of its people and capitalizing upon the skills and talents of employees is easy. Talking to leaders who actually try to create such an environment more often points out the difficulties of this task. Since there are significant difficulties, one question that is frequently asked by skeptics and supporters alike is, does such a culture create bottom-line impacts that provide a competitive advantage for the organization?. LOMA recently investigated this connection between the idea of culture and bottom-line outcomes. To do this, LOMA collected survey data from approximately 5,000 employees at 30 insurance companies and then assessed the connection between what employees said about their companyâ€™s culture and measures of employee morale, turnover, customer satisfaction, and financial performance. For our purposes, the term, .Culture for Excellence. Refers to an organizational model that clarifies how to transform the human side of an organization into a competitive advantage from this perspective, there are three critical dimensions that help to create organizational excellence: Employee Involvement, Commitment to Quality Customer Service, and a Commitment to a High Quality of Work Life (Table 1, page 25). Using Lomaâ€™s Employee Opinion Survey to measure these dimensions, we identified two types of companies:
Those: with a strong Culture for Excellence (CFE) and those with a weak Culture for Excellence. In the strong CFE companies, the vast majority of employees rated many of the topics shown in the CFE model favorably. In contrast, employees in the weak companies were significantly less favorable on these issues.
1.9) Culture for Excellence: “Employee Involvement” means that employees at all levels of the organization are involved in the running of the business. In an environment supportive of Employee Involvement: •
Employees have the authority to make decisions and contribute to the business (Authority).
Employees have a good understanding of the business and how the organization operates (Company Knowledge).
Employees receive sufficient training and development opportunities (Individual Knowledge).
There is open and ongoing communication between management and employees (Information & Communication).
Employees receive recognition and rewards for their contributions to the
Company (Recognition & Rewards).
There is a link between organizational rewards and performance (RewardsPerformance Link).
“Quality Service means” employees believe that meeting the needs of the customer and the delivery of quality service are core company values and priorities. In companies with a strong culture for Quality Service. •
An employee perceives that top management is committed to quality – both in words and action – (Top Management Commitment to Quality).
Top management’s commitment to quality, in turn, cascades throughout the organization so that there is an organizational-wide commitment to quality (Quality Emphasis).
Meeting the needs of the customer is a number one priority (Customer Focus); and,
An employee routinely collects and uses customer feedback (Customer Feedback).
“Quality of Work Life” means that employees receive both personal and workrelated support from the company. In a company supportive of a positive Quality of Work Life, employees:
Is able to balance their work and personal demands effectively (Balance).
Have challenging but reasonable work loads (Work Load).
Is treated fairly regardless of demographic differences such as gender and race (Diversity).
Perceive a reasonable level of job security (Job Security).
Have the tools, materials and equipment they need to perform their jobs effectively (Resources).
1.10) Disadvantages: •
Appears from internal source – which can be bad if source is not trusted that much – this can reduce responses.
Internal relationship still obvious; Requires HR person to box up and send at intervals / at end; Response rate may be affected. requires Post room (or maybe HR) person to box up and send at intervals / at end; Response rate may be mildly affected
Requires Post room / HR person to box up and send at intervals / at end; Annoys people that there is no stamp; annoyed people complain or ask for guidance (staff cost); Failed to deliver & penalty for ‘no stamp’ charges charged to QWL; Response rate may be mildly affected.
Straightforward – people can choose internal mail or external mail; Good response rate.
Straightforward – people can choose internal mail or external mail; May appear extravagant; People may steal stamps; Likely to be the best response rate.
1.11) Project Model: The implementation plan is presented in the graphical figure below. The figure includes the work packages and the theoretical framework. The outcomes will include not only an explanation and overview of the quality of life of European citizens, but also a social quality measuring instrument and scenarios for future trends in policy and quality of life. The focus on gender will be the basis for a dedicated work package. Dissemination will take place throughout the project.
Work Package 1: Quality of life: theoretical, methodological and empirical elaboration. The work package is divided into several strands of activities that include: An extensive literature review of theoretical concepts of quality of life. An assessment of existing standard data sources on objective and subjective indicators. An assessment of longitudinal data sources pertinent to measurement of quality of life in a dynamic perspective. A cross-national comparative analysis of quality of life. Dissemination of results on the national level. Work Package 2: Quality of work for employees (operational insertion of project objective 2). This work package concerns analyses based on survey interviews among employees in all of the participating countries. Work package activities are summarized as follows: • • • •
To gain entrance to four organizations per participating country. To develop a questionnaire. To translate the questionnaire into all 8 languages and to put the questionnaire onto a website. To collect the resulting data.
To analyze the results for each country and to relate the results on the quality of work to country and workplace context. Work Package 3: Analysis of the institutional context (operational insertion of project objective 3): In all eight countries data are obtained from available statistical data, national and European policy documents, from other written sources and from national high-level expert groups. In each country an expert meeting will be organized where the national reports will be presented and discussed. The purpose of the revised national reports is to evaluate the national context of socio-economic trends, public policies and institutional characteristics of the selected countries. Work Package 4: Healthy organizations and sustainable employment (operational insertion of project objective 4): Work package activities focuses on employee and workplace needs and possibilities for organizational development that address the dual agenda of employee quality of life and workplace effectiveness in different public policy contexts. Specifically, activities will incorporate findings from the Framework 5 Study, Gender, Parenthood and the Changing European Workplace (Transitions). Work Package 5: Developing an instrument for measuring social quality in European workplaces (operational insertion of project objective 5): Using the findings from WP1, WP2, and WP4 the aim of this work package is to develop an international comparative instrument to measure social quality in workplaces. Work Package 6: Quality of life and future trends: scenario analyses (operational insertion of project objective 6) The focus of activities in this work package is get a grip on future trends and public and organizational policies as they relate to quality of life and work through the scenario analyze. Scenarios are particularly suitable alternatives to predictions as they are capable of handling complex problems arising over long time periods with many uncertainties. Work package activities include the following: • • • • •
To collect information from other Wipes in order to design possible scenarios. To gain access to expert groups in each country to discuss the scenarios. To develop a framework for guiding scenario discussion meetings. To analyze the results from each country. To summaries the results in national reports and an international comparative scenario report with recommendations for each country.
Work Package 7:
The influence of gender (operational insertion of project objective 7) Gender will matter when it comes to the cost and benefits of changes in social life and in work organizations. The activities of this work package are focused on insuring that each of the other work packages is attentive to gender effects. Work activities include: • • • •
Defining an instrument to analyze gender differences. Making sure that a gender perspective is included in the questionnaires and expert meetings in the partner countries. Analyzing and interpreting results using a gender perspective. Producing a report on the effects of gender on the quality of life and work in the partner countries.
Work Package 8: “Dissemination framework” a central activity for this work package is the creation of a website on which project reports; other documentation and important links to similar projects are publicized. Work includes but is not limited to: •
Dissemination of summaries of the cross-national reports as well as the final report in national languages.
Publish reports and working papers from the project.
Develop a common international dissemination strategy targeting European politicians and policy makers, employers and unions, European and world scientific communities and general audiences.
Work Package 9: Management The project management will guarantee the smooth functioning of all project activities and will take care of the overall, contractual, ethical, financial and administrative management. The work activities also include organizing meetings with work package co-coordinators, collectively and individually at least twice per year. The first meeting to take place at the start of the project to discuss the consortium agreement, the work and management plan. These meetings will be of technical and strategicnature. In close cooperation with the partners, the project management will timely and adequately report to the European Commission. On the projects progress and finances. In the final year of the study, to produce a final project report. In close collaboration with WP8 dissemination goals for the project.
1.12) General Factors of QWL: •
The Federal Government is a leader in providing family-oriented leave policies, flextime, and telecommuting arrangements to support a positive work culture and environment. The Government is committed to helping employees meet and balance the responsibilities of work and home life. • Flexibilities : The following work/life flexibilities are addressed in this document: Hours of work and scheduling flexibilities Timework/telecommuting Leave flexibilities Job sharing Employee Assistance Programs Child and elder care assistance Subsidized transportation Employee health Emergency preparedness Associated web links are included at the end of each description where appropriate. •
Hours of Work and Scheduling Flexibilities: Agencies have the discretionary authority to determine the hours of work for their employees to ensure agencies meet organizational goals and to help employees balance personal needs. (5 U.S.C. chapter 61, subchapters I and II; 5 CFR part 610) Agencies should establish: Full-time, part-time, intermittent, and seasonal work schedules. Hours of work for employees, including traditional day shifts, night and weekend duty, rotating shifts, and “first-40” schedules. Paid and unpaid breaks in the workday. (See link on page 3.) Overtime hours. Employees generally earn overtime pay or compensatory time off for hours of work in excess of 8 in a day or 40 in a week under title 5, United States Code.
Alternative work schedules, which can replace traditional schedules (i.e., 8 hours per day/40 hours per week, with fixed starting and stopping times). The Handbook on Alternative Work Schedules provides a framework for Federal agencies to use in establishing alternative work schedules and provides information to assist agencies in administering such programs. Also, information on negotiating alternative work schedules can be found in the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM’s) LaborManagement Relations Guidance Bulletin “Negotiating Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules.” (See links on page 3.)
Alternative work schedules include:
Flexible work schedules (FWS). FWS allow an employee to complete the basic 80hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays. FWS consist of workdays composed of core hours and flexible hours. Core hours are the designated period of the day when all employees must be at work. Flexible hours are the part of the workday when employees may (within limits or “bands”) choose their times of arrival and departure. The authority for FWS is contained in 5 U.S.C. 6122. An agency’s FWS plan may permit employees to earn credit hours. An employee may elect to earn credit hours for working hours in excess of the employee’s basic work requirement (e.g., 40 hours a week). An employee may use earned credit hours to take time off and vary the length of a workweek or a workday. For more information on the administration of credit hours, refer to The Handbook on Alternative Work Schedules. – Compressed work schedules (CWS). CWS are fixed work schedules that enable fulltime employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays. These schedules are authorized by 5 U.S.C. 6127. Agencies may adopt either flexible or compressed work schedules for their employees. An employee may not be permitted to work on a “hybrid” schedule that combines aspects of both programs. Adjusted work schedules for religious observances, which are available for employees whose personal religious beliefs require they abstain from work at certain times of the workday or workweek. Modifications in work schedules must not interfere with the efficient accomplishment of an agency’s mission. The hours worked in lieu of the normal work schedule do not create any entitlement to premium pay (including overtime pay). •
Tele work/Telecommuting :
With portable computers, high speed telecommunications links, and ever-present pocket communications devices, many employees today can work almost anywhere at least some of the time. Telecommuting, also referred to as Tele work, Allows employees to work at home or at another approved location away from the regular office. Sometimes an employee may work at a telecenter. A telecenter is a multiagency facility that provides a geographically convenient office setting as an alternative to the employee’s main office. A telecenter can also serve as an administrative support center for employees working at home. Telework/telecommuting Web sites: http://www.opm.gov/wrkfam/telecomm/telecomm.htm http://www.telework.gov/
• Leave Flexibilities: Federal leave programs include the following: Annual and sick leave programs provide most employees with a total of a) 13 days of sick leave each year (which accumulates without limit in succeeding years), and b) 13, 20, or 26 days of annual leave, depending on years of service. (A maximum of 240 hours may be carried over to the next leave year.) Under expanded sick leave policies, employees may use up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave each year to care for a family member with a serious health condition. In addition, an employee may use limited amounts of sick leave each year to care for a family member who is incapacitated by illness or injury, accompany family members to routine health care appointments, arrange for or attend the funeral of a family member, and for absences related to adopting a child. (5 U.S.C. chapter 63, subchapter I; 5 CFR part 630, subparts B, C, and D; 5 CFR 630.401 and 630.1202) Annual leave enhancements were made per Section 202(a) of the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004, which adds a new paragraph (e) to 5 U.S.C. 6303. This paragraph provides that a newly appointed employee's prior nonFederal work experience may be creditable in determining the amount of annual leave the employee will earn each biweekly pay period. Qualified non-Federal work experience must have been performed in a position with duties directly related to the position to which he or she is being appointed and must meet other requirements as prescribed by OPM. Additionally, the head of the agency to which the new employee is appointed must determine that the granting of such service credit is necessary in order to achieve an agency mission or performance goal. Section 202 provides that not later than 180 days after enactment of the Act (April 28, 2005), OPM must prescribe regulations to allow the credit of nonFederal service for the purpose of determining an employee's annual leave accrual rate. SES and SL/ST annual leave accrual was updated per Section 202(b) of the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004, which adds a new paragraph (f) to 5 U.S.C. 6303. This paragraph provides that members of the Senior Executive Service (SES), employees in senior level (SL) and scientific or professional (ST) positions, and employees covered by an equivalent pay system, as determined by OPM, will accrue annual leave at the rate of 1 day (8 hours) for each full Biweekly pay period. This provision became effective on October 30, 2004. SES and SL/ST employees may accumulate up to 120 hours of annual leave. Leave sharing programs allow an employee who has a personal or family medical emergency and who has exhausted his or her own leave to receive donated annual leave from other Federal employees through the voluntary leave transfer or leave bank programs. (5 U.S.C. 6331-6340 and 6361-6373; 5 CFR part 630, subparts I and J)
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 entitles an employee to a total of 12 administrative workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for: September 2005 5 The birth of a son or daughter and care of the newborn The placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care The care of an employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent with a serious health condition An employee’s own serious health condition that makes him or her perform the duties of his or her position.
Employees continue to be covered by the Federal Government’s health insurance program while using family and medical leave. (5 U.S.C. 6381-6387; 5 CFR part 630, subpart L) Leave for bone-marrow and organ donation allows a Federal employee to use up to 7 days of paid leave each year (in addition to sick or annual leave) to serve as a bone-marrow donor and up to 30 days of paid leave each year to serve as an organ donor. (5 U.S.C. 6327) Time off for volunteer activities. Federal agencies can support employees’ commitment to community service by ensuring all employees are aware of the various flexibilities available to them to participate in volunteer activities. Agencies may permit employees to make maximum use of existing flexibilities such as alternative work schedules, annual leave, credit hours under flexible work schedules, compensatory time off, and excused absence (administrative leave), where appropriate, to perform community service. OPM advises the granting of excused absence for volunteer activities should be limited to those situations in which the employee's absence, in the department's or agency's determination, is not specifically prohibited by law and satisfies one or more of the following criteria: The absence is directly related to the department or agency's mission The absence is officially sponsored or sanctioned by the head of the department or agency) The absence will clearly enhance the professional development or skills of the employee in his or her current position The absence is brief and is determined to be in the interest of the agency. Federal leave programs Web sites:
http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave www.opm.gov/oca/leave/html/workshop.htm http://www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/1998/cpm98-V.htm •
Job sharing is an available option that may help balance some employees’ work and family responsibilities. Under such an arrangement, two employees each work less than full-time, but coordinate their schedules and assignments so together they “share” a work role and ensure the duties and responsibilities of what would otherwise be one full-time position are properly carried out. •
Employee Assistance Programs:
Licensed or regulated by State or local authorities. (Public Law 107-67, November 12, 2001, and 5 CFR part 792) Child Development Centers Many Federal agencies also provide on-site or near-site child development centers. There are approximately 1,000 worksite child care centers sponsored by the civilian and military agencies. •
Federal agencies offer qualified employees a transportation fringe benefit program that includes the option to exclude from taxable income employee commuting costs incurred through the use of mass transportation and van pools. Agencies in the National Capitol Region offer employees “transit passes” in amounts approximately equal to employee commuting costs, not to exceed the maximum level allowed by law. (Executive Order 13150) •
Agencies may establish health services programs, including preventive health services, at the worksite. Many of these services may be made available to employees without charge. They are beneficial to individual employees as well as to agencies. Maintaining a healthy, productive workforce enables agencies to meet their vital missions on behalf of the American people. These programs provide a variety of confidential services, including counseling and referrals, to employees who are experiencing personal problems such as work
and family pressures, substance abuse, or financial problems that can adversely affect performance, reliability, and personal health. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) help employees and, where feasible, their families with problems that may affect their well-being and their ability to do their jobs. These worksite programs, which are generally available to all Federal employees, offer cost-free, confidential employee counseling and referral to community treatment and/or professional services, as appropriate. Although agencies are only required by law to establish and administer employee counseling programs that deal specifically with alcohol and drug problems, most agencies have “broad brush” EAPs that offer help for a variety of other problems. These EAPs offer counseling and referral services for problems such as mental, emotional, family, financial, dependent care, and legal difficulties. In addition to providing individual counseling, EAPs also play a key role in educating employees on a variety of health and assistance topics such as HIV/AIDS, money management, parenting, caring for aging parents, stress management, and selecting quality child care. The basic services of EAPs include: Confidential, free, short-term counseling to identify and assess the problem(s) and to assist employees in problem solving. Referral, where appropriate, to a community service or professional resource that provides treatment and/or rehabilitation. With the exception of illness or injury directly resulting from employment, medical care and treatment are personal to the employee and, therefore, payment may not be made from appropriated funds unless provided for in a contract of employment or by statute or regulation. Follow-up services to assist an employee in achieving an effective readjustment to his or her job during and after treatment, e.g., back-to-work conferences. Training sessions for managers and supervisors on handling work-related problems that may be related to substance abuse or other personal and/or healthrelated problems. Orientation and educational programs to familiarize all employees with the services of EAPs and how to access them. Briefings to educate management and union officials on the role of EAPs. •
Child and Elder Care Assistance:
Child and elder care are available to help employees with child and elder care needs. Many agencies offer referral assistance to community resources, provide lunch and learn seminars, and sponsor caregiver fairs. OPM developed a Handbook of Child and Elder Care Resources, which provides employees, managers, and employee assistance counselors with information about organizations and agencies across the country that can help employees locate quality child and elder care services. In addition, OPM recommends two resource and referral services that direct callers to local services providers and community resources: Child Care Aware on 1-800-424-2246 The Elder Care Locator on 1-800-677-1116. Child Care Subsidy Authority Congress enacted a provision that permits agencies to spend appropriated funds to assist lower income employees with the costs of child care. For those agencies offering child care subsidies, children must be enrolled in child care facilities •
Agencies must be prepared to protect employees in the workplace in the event of an emergency situation. Each Federal facility has unique requirements that must be met by its managers. OPM has produced a series of guides that address the general issue of emergency preparedness, including guides for employees and their families, inside or outside of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. 1.13 Factors of Quality of Work Life: There are six factors that interact to explain and predict quality of working life. They are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Career and Job Satisfaction (CJS) Working Conditions (WCS) General Well-Being (GWB) Work Life Balance (WLB) Stress at Work (SAW) Control at Work (CAW)
1. Career and Job Satisfaction (CJS): The extent to which you are content with your job and your prospects at work Career and Job Satisfaction is a very important factor in overall quality of working life. How you score on the Career and Job Satisfaction (CJS) factor relates to whether you feel
the workplace provides you with the best things at work - the things that make you feel good, such as: a sense of achievement, high self esteem, fulfillment of potential, etc. 2. Working Conditions (WCS): Your score for the WCS factor indicates the extent to which you are satisfied with the fundamental resources, working conditions and security necessary to do your job effectively. This includes aspects of the work environment such as noise and temperature, shift patterns and working hours, pay, tools and equipment, safety and security. Dissatisfaction can have a significantly adverse effect on your overall WRQoL score. The WCS factor is related to CJS, in that CJS reflects the degree to which the workplace provides you with the best things at work, whilst the WCS factor by contrast, reflects the degree to which the workplace meets your basic requirements. 3. General Well-Being (GWB): General Well-Being (GWB) assesses the extent to which you feel good within yourself. As such, that sense of GWB may be more or less independent of your work situation. General well-being both influences, and is influenced by work. GWB reflects psychological well-being and general physical health aspects. 4. Work Life Balance (WLB): How much you think the organization understands and tries to help you with pressures outside of work. Work Life Balance is about having a measure of control over when, where and how you work. It is achieved when you feel you have a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work, to the mutual benefit of you and your work. A poor worklife balance can have negative effects on your well-being. 5. Stress at Work (SAW): The extent to which you see work pressures and demands as acceptable and not excessive or ‘stressful’. The UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) define stress at: “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”. Work pressures and demands can be a positive of aspect of our work experience, providing challenge and stimulation, but where we see them as excessive and beyond our ability to cope, we are likely to feel overloaded and stressed. 6. Control at Work (CAW): How far you feel you are involved in decisions that affect you at work. Control at Work (CAW) reflects the level to which you feel you can exercise what you consider to be an appropriate level of control within your work environment. That perception of control might be linked to various aspects of work, including the opportunity to contribute to the process of decision making that affects you. Leading authors in the field suggest that perception of personal control can strongly affect both an individuals’
experience of stress and their health. Research also suggests that there is a strong link between personal control and job satisfaction. 1.14 Quantity of Work Life as HR Strategy â€“ An Analysis: Todayâ€™s workforce consists of literate workers who expect more than just money from their work. In the modern scenario, QWL as a strategy of Human Resource Management is being recognized as the ultimate key for development among all the work systems, not merely as a concession. This is integral to any organization towards its wholesome growth. This is attempted on par with strategies of Customer Relation Management. Strategy and Tactics: Over the years, since industrial revolution, much experimentation has gone into exploiting potential of human capital in work areas either explicitly or implicitly. Thanks to the revolution in advanced technology, the imperative need to look into QWL in a new perspective is felt and deliberated upon. Major companies are tirelessly implementing this paradigm in Human Resources Development (some call it Peopleâ€™s Excellence). Globalization has lowered national boundaries, creating a knowledge-based economy that spins and spans the world. Major economies are converging technologically and economically, and are highly connected at present moment. The new global workplace demands certain prerequisites such as higher order of thinking skills like abstraction system thinking and experimental inquiry, problem-solving and team work. The needs are greater in the new systems, which are participative ventures involving workers managed by so-called fictional proprietors. Men Counted: In simple terms, all the above requirements can be easily achieved by providing improved quality of work life to the workers available on rolls. Workers are often referred to as teams or groups in general parlance and whatever the do go to the credit of the teamwork. The concept of teamwork has evolved from the organised toil that has its own social dimensions. Good teams can hardly be imported from outside. They usually occur as an indigenous incidence at the workplace and nurturing the same over time is the responsibility of management. Here, it may also be discerned that the composition of available workers in no more a local phenomenon as in the past. Mobility is caused by migration beyond culture barriers and isolation, relocation and globalizes deployment. This phenomenon has become universal and is causing great changes in the work environment at factories as well as offices. The new influx of skilled workers seeking greener pastures is even questioning the skills of new employers and thereby restructuring the new environs on par with those of best in the world, unwittingly though.
Money Matters: For good QWL, cash is not the only answer. Today, the workers are aware of the job requirements of job as also the fact that the performance of the same is measured against the basic goals and objectives of the organization and more importantly, wages are paid according to the larger picture specific to the industry and the employer’s place in the same. The increased share of workers in wages and benefits through legislation as well as competitive interplay of superior managements in various fields of industry and business on extensive levels has reshaped the worker’s idea of quality of work life. Moreover, other things being equal, the employers are increasingly vying with their rivals in providing better working conditions and emoluments. This may be owing to many reasons besides the concern for the human angle of workers, like the employer’s tendency to climb on the bandwagon, to reap to the desired dividends or to woo better talent into their fold as skill base addition and other non-economic inputs like knowledge bases. Doubtlessly, the increased tendency of recruiting knowledge bases is giving the modern managements payoffs in myriad ways. Some of them are intended potentials for product innovations and cost cuttings. Talking of product, it may appear far-fetched to some that product is being assessed in the market for its quality and price by the environment created in the areas where workers and customers are dealt and transact, like ambience in facilities / amenities as also the company’s pay scales. This goes to prove that QWL of manufacturer / service provider is synonymous with the quality of product. Non economic – ‘Job Security’ The changing workforce consists of literate workers who expect more than just money from their work life. Their idea of salvation lies in the respect they obtain in the work environment, like how they are individually dealt and communicated with by other members in the team as well as the employer, what kind of work he is entrusted with, etc. Some of these non-economic aspect are: Self respect, satisfaction, recognition, merit compensation in job allocation, incompatibility of work conditions affecting health, bullying by older peers and boss, physical constraints like distance to work, lack of flexible working hours, work-life imbalances, invasion of privacy in case of certain cultural groups and gender discrimination and drug addiction. One or more of the problems like above can cast a ‘job-insecurity’ question, for no direct and visible fault of the employer. Yet, the employer has to identify the source of workers problems and try to mitigate the conditions and take supportive steps in the organisation so that the workers will be easily retained and motivated and earn ROI. The loss of man-hours to the national income due to the above factors is simply overwhelming. Employer should instill in the worker the feeling of trust and confidence by creating appropriate channels and systems to alleviate the above shortcomings so that the
workers use their best mental faculties on the achievement of goals and objectives of the employer. To cite some examples, employers in certain software companies have provided infrastructure to train the children of workers in vocational activities including computer education, so that the workers need not engage their attention on this aspect. Employee care initiatives taken by certain companies include creation of Hobby clubs, Fun and Leisure Clubs for the physical and psychological well-being ness of workers and their families. After all, the workers are inexorably linked to the welfare of their families, as it is their primary concern. Dual income workers, meaning both spouses working are the order of the day. The work life balance differs in this category and greater understanding and flexibility are required with respect to leave, compensation and working hours in the larger framework. Teamwork: Teamwork is the new mantra of modern day people’s excellence strategy. Today’s teams are self-propelled ones. The modern manager has to strive at the group coherence for common cause of the project. The ideal team has wider discretion and sense of responsibility than before as how best to go about with its business. Here, each member can find a new sense of belonging to each other in the unit and concentrate on the group’s new responsibility towards employer’s goals. This will boost the coziness and morale of members in the positive environment created by each other’s trust. Positive energies, free of workplace anxiety, will garner better working results. Involvement in teamwork deters deserters and employer need not bother himself over the detention exercises and save money on motivation and campaigns. Boss Factor: Gone are the days when employers controlled workers by suppressing the initiative and independence by berating their brilliance and skills, by designing and entrusting arduous and monotonous jobs and offer mere sops in terms of wages and weekly off. Trust develops when managers pay some attention to the welfare of the workers and treat them well by being honest in their relations. The employer should keep in mind that every unpaid hour of overtime the worker spends on work is an hour less spent with the family. New performance appraisals are put into vogue to assess a worker’s contribution vis-à-vis on employer’s objectives and to find out the training and updating needs and levels of motivation and commitment. As observed in some advanced companies, the workers themselves are drawing their benefits by filing appraisal forms and drawing simultaneously the appropriate benefits by the click of the mouse directly from their drawing rooms, courtesy e-HR systems. In addition, there are quite a number of channels
for informal reviews. Feedback on worker’s performance, if well interpreted and analyzed, could go a long way in improving ethics at workplace. Involvement and Communication: Multi-schilling and exposing workers to different lines of activity in the unit indirectly leads to the greater involvement and better job security of worker in the organization. The employer too, can make use of the varied skills to any altered situations of restructuring and other market adaptations. Thus, the monotony of work life can be alleviated. The employer, armed with the depth of cross-trained human resources, need not go hunting for new talent and thus save on the unspent pay packets, which can be spent usefully on the amenities for workers. No doubt, rivals should be envying him for this edge. The change should be apparent in mutual trust and confidence towards effective understanding of the needs of worker and employer. The new knowledge-based workers are mostly young in the fields of technology and management. They are more forthcoming in trusting the boss and older peers. Now, all modern managements are cognizant of the innate desire of workers to be accepted as part of the organization for identity and other social reasons. Effective dialogue is put into play between management and those who execute through well-organized communication channels paving the way for improved cooperation and participation on emotional level. The decision making level is nose diving to the floor level manager, where the poor guy has to think of n number of quick decisions on behalf of the organization. Unless the team is behind and involved with commitment, the manager cannot implement the new tasks in production, distribution, people’s excellence, customer relations, etc., thanks to the ‘e’ factor prefixed to the names of majority of departments. Logically, harmony plays its part in cost efficiency. Successful managers are those who listen to their workers. Influences: Overwork is tolerated in emerging industries unlike government departments as part of the game and work culture. This is so, what with the soaring competition among the tightly contested players. The point is empowerment of workforce in the area of involvement. All said and one, the workers are considered as the invisible branch ambassadors and internal customers in certain industries. It is evident that most of the managements are increasingly realizing that quality alone stands to gain in the ultimate analysis. Restructuring the industrial relations in work area is the key for improving the quality of product and the price of the stock. Without creating supportive environment in restructured environment, higher quality of work cannot be extracted. It is already high time the older theories of industrial relations should be unlearnt.
2.1 History of RMG Industry: Garment Industry Large-scale production of readymade garments (RMG) in organized factories is a relatively new phenomenon in Bangladesh. Until early sixties, individual tailors made garments as per specifications provided by individual customers who supplied the fabrics. The domestic market for readymade garment, excepting children wears and men's knit underwear (genii) was virtually non-existent in Bangladesh until the sixties. In the 1950s, labors in the Western World became highly organized; forming trade unions. This and other changes provided workers greater rights including higher pay; which resulted in higher cost of production. Retailers started searching for places where the cost of production was cheaper. Developing economies like Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea presented themselves as good destinations for relocations because they had open economic policies and had non-unionized and highly disciplined labor force that could produce high quality products at much cheaper costs. In order to control the level of imported RMG products from developing countries into developed countries, Multi Fiber Agreement (MFA) was made in 1974. The MFA agreement imposed an export rate 6 percent increase every year from a developing country to a developed country. It also allowed developed countries to impose quotas on countries that exported at a higher rate than the bilateral agreements.  In the face of such restrictions, producers started searching for countries that were outside the umbrella of quotas and had cheap labor. This is when Bangladesh started receiving investment in the RMG sector. In the early 1980s, some Bangladeshis received free training from Korean Daewoo Company. After these workers came back to Bangladesh, many of them broke ties with the factory they were working for and started their own factories. Since the late 1970s, the RMG industry started developing in Bangladesh primarily as an export-oriented industry although; the domestic market for RMG has been increasing fast due to increase in personal disposable income and change in life style. The sector rapidly attained high importance in terms of employment, foreign exchange earnings and its contribution to GDP. In 1999, the industry employed directly more than 1.4 million workers, about 80% of whom were female. With the growth of RMG industry, linkage industries supplying fabrics, yarns, accessories, packaging materials, etc. have also expanded. In addition, demand for services like transportation, banking, shipping and insurance has increased. All these have created additional employment. The total indirect employment created by the RMG industry in Bangladesh is estimated to be some 200,000 workers. 2.2 Facts and Figures: In the 1980s, there were only 50 factories employing only a few thousand people. Currently, there are 4490 manufacturing units. The RMG sector contributes around 75 percent to the total export earnings. In 2007 it earned $9.35 billion.  This sector also contributes around 13 percent to the GDP, which was only around 3 percent in 1991. Of
the estimated 2 million people employed in this sector, about 70 percent of them are women from rural areas. USA is the largest importer of Bangladeshi RMG products, followed by Germany, UK, France and other EU countries. 2.3Women in the Garment Industry: Garment sector is the largest employer of women in Bangladesh.  The garment sector has provided employment opportunities to women from the rural areas that previously did not have any opportunity to be part of the formal workforce. This has given women the chance to be financially independent and have a voice in the family because now they contribute financially. However, the women workers are facing many problems. Most women come from low income families. Low wage of women workers and their compliancy have enabled the industry to compete with the world market. Women are paid far less than men mainly due to their lack education. Women are reluctant to unionize because factory owners threaten to fire them. Even though trade unionization is banned inside the Export processing Zones (EPZ), the working environment is better than that of the majority of garment factories that operate outside the EPZs. But, pressure from buyers to abide by labor codes has enabled factories to maintain satisfactory working conditions. In recent times, garment workers have protested against their low wages. The firstâ€™s protests broke out in 2006, and since then, there have been periodic protests by the workers. This has forced the government to increase minimum wages of workers. 2.4 The Future: The RMG sector is expected to grow despite the global financial crisis of 2009.As China is finding it challenging to make textile and foot wear items at cheap price, due to rising labor costs, many foreign investors, are coming to Bangladesh to take advantage of the low labor cost. 2.5 Evolution of RMG: The history of the Readymade Garments Sector in Bangladesh is a fairly recent one. Nonetheless it is a rich and varied tale. The recent struggle to realize Workers' Rights adds an important episode to the story. Below, we present a detailed narration of the evolution of the RMG sector from its humble origins to the present day. The shift from a rural, agrarian economy to an urban, industrial economy is integral to the process of economic development (Kaldor, 1966, 1967). Although policymakers in the least developed countries (LDCs) have, at various times, attempted to make agriculture the primary engine of economic growth and employment generation, this approach has not worked, not least because of the contributions of the Green Revolution, which has had the dual effect of increasing agricultural productivity in the LDCs and displacing the rural labor force at the same time. Led by the example of the East Asian economies, most LDCs now accept the need for greater industrialization as the fastest path to economic growth. In particular, countries such as Japan, Taiwan and
South Korea have demonstrated that an export-oriented industrial strategy can not only raise per capita income and living standards in a relatively short time; it can also play a vital role in modernizing the economy and integrating it with the global economic system. Bangladesh, one of the archetypal LDCs, has also been following the same route for the last 25 years. Once derided as a “basket-case” by Henry Kissinger (The Economist, 1996), the country stumbled across an economic opportunity in the late 1970s. New rules had come to govern the international trade in textiles and apparel, allowing low-cost suppliers to gain a foothold in American and European markets. Assisted by foreign partners, and largely unaided by the government, entrepreneurs seized the opportunity and exploited it to the fullest. Over a period of 25 years, the garments export sector has grown into a $6 billion industry that employs over a million people. In the process, it has boosted the overall economic growth of the country and raised the viability of other export-oriented sectors. This essay analyzes the processes by which global trading rules came to help out a poor country like Bangladesh. It demonstrates the impact of the rule changes on the garments sector, and the response of the sector to multiple challenges and obstacles. It also discusses what steps Bangladesh should take in order to deal with the full liberalization of the international garments trade, which occurred in January 2005 and which could potentially threaten the country’s growth prospects. Finally, it details some of the recent developments that have occurred since liberalization took effect. 2.6 Overview of the Bangladeshi Economic: Bangladesh is a tropical country in South Asia that is situated in the delta of two major rivers that flow down from the Himalayas (the Ganges and the Jamuna). The country’s land surface is therefore largely composed of alluvial silt, rendering the soil highly fertile. Historically, this has made Bangladesh an agricultural nation; although agriculture contributes only about a fifth of the national GDP, it employs three-fifths of the labor force (ADB, 2005). Bangladesh has an estimated population of 140 million (circa 2005), living in an area of about 55,000 square miles. It thus has the unwanted distinction of being the world’s most densely populated country, and this overpopulation is at the root of many of Bangladesh’s socioeconomic problems. However, the population is largely homogeneous in terms of ethnicity, language, and religion, and this provides a valuable element of national cohesion. In spite of numerous constraints, the economy has been on a steady growth path for the last 15 years, mainly due to private sector dynamism. The constraints include pervasive political instability and violence, endemic corruption and disregard for the law, frequent natural disasters, inefficient state-owned enterprises that are hotbeds of trade unionism, lack of political will to carry through necessary economic reform, inadequate infrastructure at all levels (power generation, roads and highways, port facilities), etc. Nevertheless, the economy has proved to be resilient. Since 1990, it has grown at an average rate of 5% per year. The Asian Development Bank projects that real GDP growth will increase to 6% in 2006 and 2007 (ADB, 2005). Bangladesh’s total GDP stood at $275 billion in 2004, and per capita GDP was $2,000 (adjusted for purchasing power).The table below lists some key macroeconomic indicators for the period 2004-
Sect orally, services constitute the largest portion of GDP with 51.7%. Industry accounts for 27.1% and agriculture 21.2%. However, the distribution of the labour force is reversed, with most people still working in agriculture (61%), followed by services (27%) and finally industry (12%). This imbalance between output and employment is indicative of a large amount of â€œdisguisedâ€? unemployment and underemployment. Unemployment (including underemployment) is estimated to be about 40%. The poverty rate, as of 2004, is about 45%. As shown by the above table, merchandise exports have been growing strongly in recent years and this trend is set to continue. While imports also exhibit strong growth, it should be noted that the bulk of imports consists of inputs into the production process, e.g. machinery and equipment, fuel and petroleum products, chemicals, iron and steel, cement, fabric and accessories (for garments production), etc. The breakdown of various exports by sector is given in the table overleaf (Bangladesh Bank, 2005). The figures are for the 2003-2004 fiscal year.
From Table 2, garments and textile items are the dominant export product, accounting for 77% of the countryâ€™s total export receipts. This is a relatively new phenomenon. For centuries, the chief export of the Bengal economy was jute, a natural fiber which is used in making carpets, sacks and Hessian, but whose economic value went into precipitous decline after the advent of plastic bags and synthetic packaging material in the 1960s and 1970s. 2.7 Beginning Situation: Bangladesh has already been grappling with political instability due to the prevailing confrontational politics in the country. The situation was made worse when the countrys major industry and its main foreign exchange earner Ready Made Garments (RMG) industry got embroiled in labor unrest. The industry owners and political leaders initially tried to sweep the grievances of labor under the carpet by floating various conspiracy theories. But the problem has refused to die down as its roots lie within the industry and in the exploitation of labor. 2.8 Garment Industry of Bangladesh: Bangladesh earns nearly $7 billion a year by exporting textile products, mainly to Europe and the United States. This is about 70 percent of total export earnings of the country. The RMG industry has around 4,000 units across the country. It employs around 2.5 million workers, 90 percent of whom are poor women. Whenever the country is criticized for its high level of corruption and confrontational politics, its garment industry is held up as a success story.
2.9 Dark Side of the Garment Industry: This most flourishing industry of Bangladesh has its dark side. A large number of the units are located in dilapidated buildings. In April 2005, an entire building, housing hundreds of mainly female workers in the outskirts of Dhaka, collapsed. Sixty-four laborers, at work on their machines, were crushed to death, and 84 injured. What is worse, most of these buildings do not have adequate fire escapes. On February 24 this year, more than 50 people were killed and about 100 injured in a fire at a textile mill in Bangladesh. The industry leaders unite together to get support and benefits from the government, but they are not equally willing to look after the welfare of workers. In the RMG industry in several places in Bangladesh workers are paid their salaries two moths late. Overtime is imposed and in some cases not rewarded. The rising inflation has reduced the value of wages. But the industrialists say that itâ€™s the job of the government to control inflation. 2.10 Exploitation of Workers: Unions say garment workers are angry over low pay and long hours. Wages in Bangladesh's garment factories can be as little as $20 a month. Thanks to poor working conditions, employer-worker clashes have been recurring in the textile industry. Workers often take to the streets with complaints of poor pay and working conditions. 2.11 Uncertain Future of the Industry: After the end of the Multi-Fiber Agreement at the beginning of 2005 and the changeover to the new World Trade Organization regime, it was feared that the Bangladesh's booming textile industry would suffer as it would loose business to countries like China and India. But fortunately for Bangladesh, so far this prediction has been proved wrong. In fact, the industry has continued to grow at a healthy rate of 20 percent. However, this does not indicate that the Bangladesh garment industry has become more competitive. The reality is that this increase has been largely due to restrictions imposed on China by the Western nations than to the ingenuity in Dhaka or Chittagong. The Chinese cannot be held back after 2008, which means a completely different picture might emerge after that. Industry also faces various infrastructural problems. Due to shortage of power and diesel industries are not able to work to their full capacity. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) fears that production in RMG industry might fall by 50 percent and production cost might go up by about 25 percent due to the crises. Due to power shortage shipments are sent through air, thereby increasing its cost. Unfortunately the government has not taken any step to improve the
situation. On the other hand, people have been shot dead for demanding regular supply of electricity. 2.12 Worst Industrial Rioting in the RMG Industry: The spiraling labor unrest in the Bangladesh RMG industry started on May 23 after a knitwear factory owner rejected an 11-point charter of demands. The factory was completely gutted in the blaze. Protesting workers forced their way into an exclusive industrial zone for foreign investors and damaged machinery. These workers demanding unpaid wages and a weekly holiday smashed scores of vehicles and burn down factories in Saver, an industrial town near Dhaka. Among the 250 damaged units, at least 30 were owned by foreign investors in the Savar Export Processing Zone. According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters' Association (BGMEA) vice-president (finance) Sahara Hossain Chowdhury Arum nearly 300 factories, including 21 factories in the Saver Export Processing Zone (EPZ), were damaged during the three-day crisis. The total loss of the garment industry is around four billion taka (nearly $70 million). Many vehicles were also set on fire during the unrest, which left three workers dead and hundreds others wounded. This is reportedly the worst industrial rioting in Bangladesh in the ready-made garment industry which is the country's biggest export earner. The violence also dealt a serious blow to the industry's image apart from causing huge losses. A Rights activist and trade union leader Shrin Akhter blamed the outbreak on accumulated anger of workers, who even do not have any weekend. She alleged that some garment owners even do not pay the worker their salaries and overtime regularly. And in some cases, the employees loyal to owners cut 2 percent from the salaries and overtime allowances. 2.13 Conspiracy Theories: The violent outburst of the workers crippled the industry for many days. Several quarters saw sabotage behind this development. But interestingly all of them found the involvement of different actors according to their own convenience. Government ministers and leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) alluded to an Indian role, alleging that the violence was the result of "conspiracy from across the border." Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman said the attack on the readymade garment sector was influenced from outside to hamper growth of the industry. He said, "What happened in the past few days is very frustrating, but I don't believe that it can be carried out by workers." Commerce Minister M Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, in a meeting with the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers Association (BKMEA), also called the happenings "sabotage".
State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar termed the outburst in the garments sector as a subversive act. He also thought that it was a part of a conspiracy against the country. But the same minister had seen a "conspiracy from across the border" last year as well, when about 500 explosions occurred across the country on August 18. Very soon the issue also acquired political overtones. Main opposition leader Sheikh Hasina demanded the government's resignation. The opposition also alleged that the government has created the trouble in order to shift the peoples attention from its various failures. On the other hand, the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said it would mobilize the public against "attempts at spreading anarchy". Former president and Jatiya Party chief Gen (rtd) HM Ershad blamed "vested quarter" behind the violence and mayhem, but did not specify. Leading economists of Bangladesh have criticized both the employers and the government for their sheer negligence to overcome the present anarchic situation in the country's readymade garments (RMG) industry. According to Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) president Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed the current situation in the RMG sector is an explosion of anger that remains unresolved for long. 2.14 Agreements with Garment Workers not honored: A study by Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies (BILS) has indicated that garment manufacturers and exporters in Bangladesh have yet to implement four agreements signed between 1997 and 2005 to defuse problems following labor unrests. A number of labor leaders believe that owners reached accords with workers just to defuse troubles whenever there was unrest. Instead of implementing deals, the owners even filed a writ petition against the government notification about minimum wages for laborers circulated in 2001. The factory owners also did not implement the 24-point suggestion offered by the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment in November 2000. The department pointed out 24 kinds of irregularities in the garment industry that went against labor laws. Inspection by the department also found that non-implementation of labor laws resulted in discontent and anger among the workers. 2.15 Present Condition: International buyers are placing a substantial number of bookings to collect winter clothing from Bangladeshi companies at cheaper prices as the major competitors are losing markets to the country amid global recession, apparel exporters said. Bangladesh has already turned into a lucrative destination for the buyers for its cheaper clothes. The exporters said the flow of orders indicates that exports of readymade garments (RMG) would pick up from the next few months although the prices offered are low. Some recent Indian newspaper reports also supported such indication, saying the major competitors are losing markets to Bangladesh for its cheaper production costs. The reports said Indian garment manufacturers have already been adversely affected by a
steep fall in demand from the US and European countries, and Indian garment exporters may lose out to low-cost competitors. Garment exports from India showed no sign of pickup this autumn-winter season following a gradual shift of international buyers to lowcost neighboring countries, the reports said. Bookings for Indian garments dropped sharply although exporters slashed prices by 11-12 percent. “Major global buyers like Wal-Mart, JC Penney, Li & Fung, GAP and Target have indicated plans to cut off take from India by 12-15 percent this year, while they are increasing their off take in neighboring countries,” Rahul Mehta, president of the clothing manufacturing association of India, was quoted as saying in a report. Garment exports from India would be lower than Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia, the reports said. India is expected to end up exporting garments worth $9 billion this fiscal year, down by almost 10 percent compared to a year back, while Bangladesh is poised to export worth $12 billion garments, the reports said. Currently bookings for Indian garments are 20-25 percent lower than the same season last year and sentiments are weak because of a gloomy outlook of its textile industry. “Our export target for the current fiscal year was $9 billion. But due to the present market condition, we will be able to close the year with exports of only $8-$8.5 billion,” Confederation of Indian Apparel Exporters President Amit Goyal said. Meanwhile, top local RMG makers are optimistic about meeting the export target in the current fiscal year although exports of some other products from Bangladesh declined in July-December period. Executive Director of Ananta Garment Ltd BadiusSalam said the flow of orders is still high compared to those of other competing countries. “I hope to meet our targeted 15 percent sales growth this year. Last year the company exported products worth $26 million and this year it will increase,” Salam said. “But the offered prices are too low,” he added. A senior official of Opex Group, one of the leading apparel makers, said they have no problem with the flow of orders until now. 2.16 Economic Condition: Shipbuilding industry could generate net value addition twice that of readymade garment (RMG) industries in just five years’ time, said Shipping Adviser Maj Gen (Retd) MA Matins yesterday. Quoting the experts, he said the shipbuilding boom would continue for at least next fifteen years or might be for a longer period in case of Bangladesh because of its cheap labor. The opportunity that is knocking must not be lost due to lack of priority or understanding of the prospects, he emphasized. Maj Gen (Retd) MA Matin, who is also the Adviser for the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs, was speaking as the chief guest at the handing over ceremony of six ocean-going vessels to the Mozambique government representative by the Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd (ASSL) at Ananda Shipyard, Meghnaghat, Sonargaon, Narayanganj. ASSL handed over 6 ferries and boats to the representative of the Mozambique government. The $80 million contact for these ferries and boats was
obtained through an international tender in Mozambique which was funded by IDA of the World Bank, an official of ASSL said. The Shipping Adviser said shipbuilding is a very attractive industry for a developing nation. It can bring a huge amount of foreign currency as the market is dollarbased. According to shipbuilding industry sources, orders worth around US$70 billion are currently floating in the air in the world market. If a small portion of that amount arrives in Bangladesh, it would bring massive changes in the overall socio-economic condition of the country, he said. Matin said the government has declared shipbuilding as a thrust sector, and accorded green channel facilities of clearing of goods for 100 percent export-oriented shipyards. Recognising the importance of this sector government has paid due attention towards its improvement. ‘I’m informed that about 40 ships have been ordered in Bangladesh in three shipyards and that quite a few shipyards are being set as 100 percent export-oriented industry. It is our earnest hope and desire that shipbuilding in Bangladesh will soon develop in a healthy form and emerge as a thrust sector,’ he said. Earlier, Afroza Bari, Managing Director of ASSL, sought 30 percent financial aid, cancellation of bank guarantee on raw materials at importing time, exemption from L/C confirmation cost, providing 7 percent yearly working capital facility and giving Bangladesh Bank the authority of issuing guarantee. She also requested to issue long term multiple entry visa to owners/buyers, allowing them to stay for minimum one month in each trip, issue long term multiple entry visa to owner’s representatives for full construction period of two years and a half, waiver of the necessity of taking approval from Board of Investment for the representatives to work at the yard and get visa and provide visa right at the airport. 2.17 Garment workers in Bangladesh: Bangladesh has been one of the main beneficiaries of the quota system of the Multi Fiber Agreement (MFA). The rise of the export-oriented Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry has been a major result of trade liberalization in Bangladesh. The industry currently employs 1.5 million workers, the majority of whom are women. It has been a major source of employment for rural migrant women in a country that has increasingly limited rural livelihood options, and where women migrants have been largely excluded from formal work in the cities. The growth of the industry has been promoted through: (a) the introduction of international quotas and the associated phenomenon of quota-hopping which supported the transfer of production and marketing expertise from Korea; and (b) the adoption of national export-oriented strategies which put direct export incentive schemes in place and simultaneously encouraged foreign direct investment through the establishment of Export Processing Zones (EPZs). While 5% of the several thousand export-oriented factories in Bangladesh are joint ventures based in EPZs (‘bideshi’ factories), 95% are ‘bangla’ factories set up outside EPZs -many by those Bangladeshi entrepreneurs who were trained as management staff in Korea.
Women workers offer a low-cost and compliant labor force that allows the garment industry to compete in the global market. In spite of Bangladesh’s ban on trade unions in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs), the EPZ’s working conditions seem to be superior to that of other factories, but only 12% of the garment workers are employed there. EPZ and ‘bangla’ firms in Dhaka that deal more directly with international buyers are more susceptible to pressures to abide by labor codes and standards. Dhaka firms which subcontract, deal with the informal economy and have weaker links with major external buyers are much less susceptible. However, the export-oriented garment industry does not represent an unambiguous improvement in working conditions compared to the rest of the economy. It has a high turnover rate. These women are a source of exploited labor and work intensely for a period of time and then move on, only to be replaced by a continuous supply of young women from the country side. The health toll and conflicts with married life makes the garment industry unsustainable over the long run. Nevertheless, those who become well-off have the opportunity to start their own businesses later, and women have been able to change their role as dependents in an unprecedented manner through the growth of the garment industry. This has created a more visible significance of women as economic contributors to their families. Prior to the phasing out of the MFA, there were predications that up to 2 million women garment workers could lose their jobs, both through an absolute decline in markets and through technological upgrading in an attempt to compete (which would result in a transfer of jobs from women to men who have greater access to skills training). However, in defiance of predictions, the mass layoffs have not materialized and, in fact, since the lifting of quotas, garment exports from Bangladesh have grown by half a billion dollars, with most of the increased sales in the US market. 2.18 Export: The role of the RMG sector in our national economy can hardly be overemphasized. There has been a steady development in our RMG export field during at least the last decade and a half but in the last few years it has been unique. The export of RMG recorded an average growth of 21.53% since 1994-95, which grew to 76.05% by the year 1999.The table, is given bellow elaborates the growth. GROWTH OF RMG IN BANGLADESH
EXPORT NUMBER OF EMPLOYMENT OF RMGTOTAL % OF% OF IN EXPORT OFRMG’S TOVALUE GARMENT MILLION BANGLADESH NATIONAL ADDITI IN MILLION FACTORIES US$ IN MN US$ EXPORT ON WORKERS 134 0.04 31.57 811 3.89 384 0.115 116.2 934.43 12.44 -
1985-86 1986-87 1987-88 1988-89 1989-90 1990-91 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
594 629 685 725 759 834 1163 1537 1839 2182 2353 2503 2726 2963 3200 3480 3618 3760 3957 4107 4220 4490 4740
0.198 0.283 0.306 0.317 0.335 0.402 0.582 0.804 0.827 1.2 1.29 1.3 1.5 1.5 1.6 1.8 1.8 2 2 2.1 2.2 2.4 2.5
131.48 298.67 433.92 471.09 624.16 866.82 1182.57 1445.03 1555.78 2228.35 2547.13 3001.24 3783.63 4020.23 4352.39 4860.12 4583.8 4912.1 5686.09 6417.67 7900.8 9211.23 10699.8
819.21 1076.61 1231.2 1291.56 1923.7 1717.55 1993.9 2382.89 2533.9 3472.56 3882.42 4418.28 5161.2 5312.86 5752.2 6467.3 5986.09 6548.44 7602.99 8654.52 10526.16 12177.86 14110.8
16.05 27.82 35.24 36.47 40.96 50.47 59.31 60.64 61.4 64.17 65.61 67.93 73.31 75.67 75.66 75.15 76.57 75.01 74.79 74.15 75.06 75.64 75.83
28.74 26.79 17.7 28.6 31.81 31.97 34.82 35.23 46.53 42.38 52.51 55.59 64.67 65.57 69.59 70
VALUE OF TOTAL APPAREL EXPORT FISCAL YEAR BASIS (VALUE IN MN. US$ QUANTITY IN MN DOZEN) TOTAL APPAREL EXPORT IN MN.US$ YEAR WOVEN KNIT TOTAL 1992-93 1240.48 204.54 1445.02 1993-94 1291.65 264.14 1555.79 1994-95 1835.09 393.26 2228.35 1995-96 1948.81 598.32 2547.13 1996-97 2237.95 763.30 3001.25 1997-98 2844.43 937.51 3781.94 1998-99 2984.96 1035.024019.98 1999-2000 3081.19 1268.224349.41 2000-2001 3364.32 1495.514859.83 2001-2002 3124.82 1458.934583.75 2002-2003 3258.27 1653.824912.09 2003-2004 3538.07 2148.025686.09 2004-2005 3598.20 2819.476417.67 2005-2006 4083.82 3816.987900.80 2006-2007 4657.63 4553.609211.23 2007-2008 5168.66 5532.9910701.65 (VALUE IN MN. US$) YEAR SHIRTS 1993-94 805.34 1994-95 791.20 1995-96 807.66 1996-97 759.57 1997-98 961.13 1998-99 1043.11 1999-2000 1021.17 2000-2001 1073.59 2001-2002 871.21 2002-2003 1019.87 2003-2004 1116.57 2004-2005 1053.34 2005-2006 1056.69 2006-2007 943.44 2007-2008 915.6
TROUSERS 80.56 101.23 112.02 230.98 333.28 394.85 484.06 656.33 636.61 643.66 1334.85 1667.72 2165.25 2201.32 2512.74
Value in Million US$ Month ALL COUNTRIES Woven Growth Knit
JACKETS 126.85 146.83 171.73 309.21 467.19 393.44 439.77 573.74 412.34 464.51 364.77 430.28 389.52 1005.06 1181.52
T-SHIRT SWEATER 225.90 ….. 232.24 …. 366.36 70.41 391.21 196.60 388.50 296.29 471.88 271.70 563.58 325.07 597.42 476.87 546.28 517.83 642.62 578.37 1062.10 616.31 1349.71 893.12 1781.51 1044.01 2208.9 1248.09 2765.56 1474.09
Year 2007 January 330.40 February 415.33 March 391.79 April 308.79 May 368.43 June 474.75 July 345.20 August 417.02 September353.78 October 314.66 November 417.14 December 471.11 Total:
2008 492.36 477.96 482.00 415.45 441.85 540.13 547.30 485.90 492.08 292.22 487.81 500.44
Rate 49.02 15.08 23.03 34.54 19.93 13.77 58.55 16.52 39.09 -7.13 16.94 6.23
Year 2007 275.01 343.14 355.07 325.91 406.11 486.49 346.78 445.01 412.46 387.32 442.06 516.57
2008 464.40 455.05 444.00 479.30 536.61 603.43 640.50 569.64 620.94 357.04 548.53 503.98
Rate 68.87 32.61 25.05 47.07 32.13 24.04 84.70 28.01 50.55 -7.82 24.08 -2.44
(Woven+Knit) 2007 2008 605.41 956.76 758.47 933.01 746.86 926.00 634.70 894.75 774.54 978.46 961.24 1143.56 691.98 1187.80 862.03 1055.54 766.24 1113.02 701.98 649.26 859.20 1036.34 987.68 1004.42
Rate 58.04 23.01 23.99 40.97 26.33 18.97 71.65 22.45 45.26 -7.51 20.62 1.69
Value in Million US$ ALL COUNTRIES Woven Knit Total Growth Month Growth Growth (Woven+Knit) Rate Year Year Rate Rate 2007/082008/09 2007/082008/09 2007/082008/09 July 345.20 547.30 58.55 346.78 640.50 84.70 691.98 1187.8071.65 August 417.02 485.90 16.52 445.01 569.64 28.01 862.03 1055.5422.45 September 353.78 492.08 39.09 412.46 620.94 50.55 766.24 1113.0245.26 October 314.66 292.22 -7.13 387.32 357.04 -7.82 701.98 649.26 -7.51 November 417.14 487.81 16.94 442.06 548.53 24.08 859.20 1036.3420.62 December 471.11 500.44 6.23 516.57 503.98 -2.44 987.68 1004.421.69 January 492.36 584.24 18.66 464.40 562.94 21.22 956.76 1147.1819.90 February 477.96 532.57 11.43 455.05 466.87 2.60 933.01 999.44 7.12 March April May June Total: 3289.233922.5619.25 3469.654270.4423.08 6758.888193.0021.22 2.19 Import: Bangladesh garments have a potential market in Russian Federation. The potentiality was shown when Russian buyers evinced their keen interest to buy Bangladeshi RMG products in a fair held in Moscow between September 17 to September 20. A 17-member delegation of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) led by its Vice President Ferdous Parvez attended the fair, said a press release.
The Russian buyers expressed their satisfaction at the standard and the price of the Bangladeshi RMG products and showed keen interest to import RMG from Bangladesh. The BGMEA attended the fair in cooperation with Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh and Bangladesh embassy in Russia. Turkey, China, Germany and Russia also participated in the fair. A delegation comprising representatives of BGMEA, EPB and Bangladoot (Bangladesh embassy) of Moscow met the officials of Bank of Russia and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russian Federation and discussed various aspects to export Bangladeshi RMG to Russian market. The delegation of Bank of Russia and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russian Federation assured the Bangladesh team of cooperation for allowing market access of Bangladesh RMG to Russia. The Bangladesh embassy also accorded a reception to the BGMEA delegation. Russian businessmen attended the reception. The BGMEA members that attended the fair are Bando Fashions Ltd, Tex Town Ltd, Rising Apparel Ltd, New Wave Style Ltd, Convince Apparel Ltd, Supa-Socks Ltd, Wage Apparels Ltd, Nexus Sweater Industries Ltd, Rumana Fashion Ltd, Rupa Fashion Ltd, Outfit Apparels Ltd, Interstop Apparels Ltd, Concord Knitting & Dyeing and Zaman Garments Ltd.The Bangladeshi RMG products exhibited in the fair were shirts, trousers, sweater, T-shirts, polo shirts, undergarments, socks, suit and blazers, jacket etc. BGMEA directors Shahidul Huq Mukul, Rashid Ahmed Hossaini, Mahmud Khan (Babu) and Mesbauddin Ali and BGMEA Trade Fair Committee Chairman Salam Hossain Chowdhury were present on the occasion. 2.20 Potential Problems to the RMG Sector: The main problems highlighted by the speaker were: 1. EU and China 2. Investment 3. Social Compliance 1. EU and China: The strategic partnership between China and the EU is of immense importance, not just in terms of trade but also in terms of the effect it will have on other economies. EU will withdraw its quota system for China which means that China will grow to become a bigger competitor in the trade system. In terms of BKMEA, this may pose as a threat as the RMG sector will face tougher competition from China 2. Investment:
In light of the socio-economic and political aspects, the investment scenario in Bangladesh is uncertain. 2.
There are some factors which hinders the growth of the RMS sector. For example, the power supply, labor conditions, pollution, bureaucracy and standards of the factories are obstacles for the growth of the RMG sector. For any kind of real improvement or advancement, financial support is required along with commitment from government and other bodies. For example, USA spent $20 billion for a project to make Chicago pollution free in a time frame of seven years. Therefore, it is not possible for Bangladesh to become free of pollution within 6 months. Key Issues: RMG is not an isolated area of the country; it is an integral part of the society and economy. The backward linkage is very important for the RMG sector. The minimum wage issue has not been solved however; there are efforts towards solving this. The RMG sector may face tougher competition from China. RMG sector drives the economy and it should not have an ending like the jute sector. Proper planning, government policies, effective entrepreneurship is required for facing the challenges in world market. Economic and commercial wings do not receive adequate support from the government. Government through its lobbyist failed to get duty-free market access to USA. Recruitment policy need to be changed, which has been “politicized” so far. No real effort made for branding Bangladesh in international market. Bangladesh needs to enhance its image in the foreign market in order to attract more buyers and investors. The economy diplomacy of the country needs to be improved. There is need of investment to improve the backward linkage of the RMG industry especially in the woven sector. Way forward: Bangladesh is suitable for the lower segment market and for the RMG sector, in terms of growth it is envisioned that “the sky is the limit.” Bangladesh can build up on its competitive edge because: As China is growing, with its more expensive labor and inputs, it is switching to high value products. On the other hand, both India and Pakistan is concentrated more on textile and less on apparel. Cambodia has around 297 factories and none is owned by the Cambodians. It has no backward linkage and labor force is not highly skilled.
Sri Lanka is may not optimally utilize its resources to create a big enough market which will stand as a threat to Bangladesh. However, Vietnam can pose develop as a threat because they have strong industrial base and became a member of the WTO. Therefore, the world market is open for Bangladesh and it depends on us on how much we can grab. Other than tougher competition from China, Bangladesh’s main challenges will come from internal sources. Factors like entrepreneurship, government policy and planning, diversification etc. will affect the growth of the industry. Thus for the boom of the RMG sector, UNDP and other alliances have a vital role to play. “Conclusion” "Quality of Work Life of RMG Industry in Bangladesh-An Analysis to find out the Influential Factors.” Quality of work has been defined as ‘better jobs and more balanced ways of combining working life with personal life. Quality of life” may describe a person or group’s standard of living, environment, public health and safety, and/or general surroundings, the quality of a person’s “work life” encompasses things that affect their well-being during the working day, such as salary and benefits, facilities, the potential for advancement, and work/life balance.QWL as a strategy of Human Resource Management is being recognized as the ultimate key for development among all the work systems, not merely as a concession. This is integral to any organization towards its wholesome growth. This is attempted on par with strategies of Customer Relation Management. In RMG industry. “Bibliography”
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