Workers’ unrest continues, 80 factories closed

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Jan 13,2019 | Updated: 00:18, Jan 13,2019

 
 

A group of people attack garment workers on demonstration for wage hike at Ashulia of Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka on Saturday. — New Age photo

Production at over 80 apparel factories were suspended for Saturday at Ashulia, Gazipur and in the capital as thousands of workers held demonstrations blocking roads to press their demand for wage hike.
During the demonstration more than 20 vehicles were vandalized and at least 20 workers were injured in clashes with police.
A tripartite committee formed by the government to review the new wage structure at a meeting Saturday agreed in principle to adjust the discrepancies in the wage structure.
The meeting chaired by the labour secretary Afroza Khan at the Secretariat over, committee members said that the basic wages for the grades 3, 4 and 5 would be readjusted with the other grades.
Thousands of workers of at least 30 factories at Ashulia held demonstrations Saturday blocking the Dhaka-Tangail Highway at Zamgora.
The protesters vandalized at least 20 vehicles when the police charged batons to disperse them said superintendent of Dhaka industrial police, Sana Shaminur Rahman.
At least 20 workers were injured in the clashes while police who fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells on the workers who threw stones on the police.
Yagi Fashion workers left their factory and tried to block Dhaka-Tangail Highway at Zamgora at 9 AM, but the police dispersed them.
Soon, workers from Starling Creation, Windy Group, Palmal Group and other factories blocked the road at 9.30 AM bringing traffic to a halt on the busy highway.
The protesters demanded justice for fellow workers Sumon Miah who was killed in police firing at Savar during their Tuesday’s demonstrations.
The police made aborting efforts to disperse the workers who put up barricades and set tires on fire halting traffic movement until 11AM.
Workers of Ha-Meen Group blocked the same highway at Narashinghapur at 2 PM.
Superintendent of Gazipur industrial police Siddikur Rahman said that workers of different factories abstained work to realize their demands.
More than 50 factories in Gazipur remained out of production but no factory was vandalized.
New Age correspondent in Gazipur reported that hundreds of workers took to streets at Tongi as rumours spread that plainclothes police had picked up five fellow workers.
The Rapid Action Battalion arrested five people at Tongi for their alleged involvement with vandalism at garment factories.
Agitated workers at Mirpur in the capital blocked the Mirpur Road at Technical Intersection in the morning to press their demands. The workers vandalized Banex Apparels Ltd and Load Star Ltd at Mirpur-13, said witnesses.
Since January 5, apparel workers blocked a number roads connected to the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway at Uttara and Dhaka-Tangail Highway at Zamgora and the Dhaka-Aricha Highway at Hemayetpur.
Labour leaders said that they discussed with the government and the factory owners the issue of removing the anomalies from the grades 3, 4 and 5.
Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry said
that he felt the tripartite committee could revise the basic wages in the grades 3, 4 and 5.
The basic wage of a third grader fell by Tk 42, of a second grader by Tk 414, while of a first grader by Tk 409.
Bangladesh’s earnings from readymade garment export fetched $30.61 billion in the financial year 2017-18 which or almost 83 per cent of country’s total export earnings.
Bangladesh is the second highest RMG exporters in the global market and the major export destinations are the US, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Canada.
More than 40 lakh workers work for at least 3,500 garment factories located across Bangladesh.

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