The state-owned jute mills workers in Khulna and Jashore will observe tougher programmes from Wednesday as the government was yet to meet any of their 9-point demands including payment of arrears.
The New Age Khulna correspondent reported that several hundred workers from the jute mills in the city demonstrated during the Monday’s strike and blocked a major road and railway on the day, announcing that they would observe the tougher agitation they had declared from Wednesday if the government still failed to meet their demands.
Hundreds of workers from five jute mills, carrying sticks, put up barricades on the Khulna-Jashore Highway at Natun Rasta Mor and the railway there from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, halting traffic movement.
Khulna Jute Mills Workers League president Murad Hossain said that they would have a meeting with government officials today (Tuesday) about the payment of workers.
‘If the government doesn’t pay us, we will certainly observe the newly declared demonstration from Wednesday,’ he said.
Labour leaders on Sunday revised upwards the blockade hours from 4:00pm-7:00pm to 8:00am-2:00pm for an indefinite period, along with the ongoing non-stop strike.
In Jashore, government jute mills workers observed the road and rail blockade in Nawapara industrial area on Monday.
Intercity Sagardari Express, Sundarban Express and Rupsha Express trains remained halted at Nawapara and Jashore railway stations due to the blockade.
Sramik League vice-president and Carpeting Jute Mills Workers Association general secretary Farazi Nazrul Islam said that a total of 1,400 workers of Jashore Jute Industries Limited had arrears of 13 weeks while some 750 labourers of Carpeting Jute Mills also remained unpaid for 13 weeks.
Government jute mills workers at Khulna, Chattogram and Rajshahi also demonstrated for the 9-point demands that included implementation of the National Wage and Productivity Commission Award 2015.
The other demands were: adequate budgetary allocation for the jute sector, payment of the outstanding provident fund and gratuity to the retired workers and settlement of insurance benefits to be paid to the families of the deceased workers, recruitment of workers, regularisation of temporary workers and reinstatement of sacked workers and the balancing, modernisation, rehabilitation and expansion of jute mills for better productivity.
The workers went on strikes twice earlier – for three days from April 2 and four days from April 15 – and on both occasions they blocked roads, highways and railway.
Workers said that they received assurances several times but none of them was implemented.
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