Hundreds of workers of the state-owned jute mills at the industrial town of Nawapara in Jashore continued demonstration on Saturday to press their 9-point demands including payment of the arrears.
Witnesses said that at least 2,000 workers of Jashore Jute Industries Limited and Carpeting Jute Mills blocked the busy Jashore-Khulna Highway and the nearby railway for hours, asking the authorities to meet their demands.
Sramik League vice-president and Carpeting Jute Mills Workers Association general secretary Farazi Nazrul Islam said that the workers’ payment remained unpaid for 13 weeks.
Labour leaders said that they would announce tougher movement today as the government did not take any steps to meet their demands.
Government jute mills workers at Khulna, Chattogram and Rajshahi also demonstrated for their 9-point demands that included implementation of the National Wage and Productivity Commission Award 2015.
The demands that forced the workers to go on a strike included: 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.
On April 16 morning, the workers withdrew their strike and returned to work after the government accepted the demands at a tripartite meeting of the labour directorate, the BJMC and the labour leaders in the presence of the state minister for labour and employment Begum Monnujan Sufian in the capital on the night of April 15.
They resumed demonstration as the government did not follow through the promises made in the tripartite meeting.