At least 12 people were injured in clashes in Gazipur between police and readymade garment workers who demonstrated for reopening of their factory, arrears, and full wages instead of 65 per cent of the basic.
Police said that several thousand workers of a number of garment factories in Gazipur blocked the busy Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail highways for hours to press home their demands on Wednesday.
The clash ensued when police tried to disperse them. Witnesses said that the police fired teargas shells, rubber bullets and charged baton while workers also pelted stones to the police turning the area into a battle field.
At least 12 people, mostly RMG workers, were injured in the clash who were given first aid.
Gazipur industrial police additional superintendent Sushanta Sarker said that a tripartite meeting fixed 60 per cent wage for workers of laid off or closed factories for the coronavirus-affected months, but the workers of some factories refused the declaration and demanded full payment.
Police said that the workers of Bando Fashions Ltd and Green Sweater Ltd in Signboard area and ABA Fashions Ltd in Gachha area, Mohammadia Fashion and Style Craft of Lokkhipura, among others, took to the streets.
About 20-22 round teargas shells and several round shotgun bullets were fired when workers did not leave streets even after baton charge, police said.
ABA Fashion’s general manager Aftab Uddin Ahmed said that the factory management on Wednesday shut the unit under Bangladesh Labour Law section 13 (1) as the workers illegally called work abstention on Tuesday.
Gazipur industrial police inspector Rezaul Karim Reza said that the workers of Bay Footwear Ltd blocked Dhaka-Tangail Highway at Shafipur demanding arrears.
The workers went back home as the factory management, mediated by police, assured them of the payment by May 9.
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