Politicians, academics, labour leaders and jute growers on Monday at a view exchange programme called on the government to refrain from privatising all 25 state-owned jute mills of the country, considering the fate of 50 thousand workers of those mills.
They called on all the democratic political parties to be united to wage a greater movement to compel the Awami League government to reverse the decision of denationalisation of the nationalised jute mills.
Left Democratic Alliance, a combine of eight left-leaning political parties held the virtual view exchange programme titled ‘Future of the jute industries, what to do?’
The government on June 2 formally announced the closure of all 25 state-owned jute mills of the country, rendering about 25,000 jute mill workers jobless overnight.
The closure, according the government, was the result of recurring losses year after year.
Veteran labour leader and president of Bangladesh Trade Union Centre Shahidullah Chowdhury called on the government to refrain from disinvestment in the jute sector as it would be destroyed if it was handed over to the private sector.
The workers of the factories were not responsible for the losses in the state-owned factories but the officials of the BJMC were responsible for the losses, Shahidullah said.
He demanded punishments of the responsible officials for the losses in the factories.
Jahangirnagr University professor and economist Anu Muhammad said that during the corona regime when workers were losing their jobs, shutting down of the state-owned jute mills of the country was unethical.
He said that the government was enforcing pressures on the workers of the factories to accept golden handshakes.
Handing over of the state-owned jute mills to the private sector would destroy the mills, Anu warned.
The looters would only be benefitted by such privatisation, he said.
Communist Party of Bangladesh president Mujahidul Islam Selim called on all the democratic political parties and labour organisations to wage a untied movement against the move.
He said handing over of the state-owned jute mills to private sector was against the spirits of the liberation war.
Socialist Party of Bangladesh general secretary Khalequzzaman termed the denationalisation anti-people and against the spirits of the war of independence 1971.
Ganosamhati Andolan chief coordinator Zonayed Saki said that when worldwide the importance of jute products was increasing, our government was shutting down jute mills.
Jute mill CBA leader of Platinam Jute Mills Shahana Sharmin, Trade Union Sangha general secretary Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam, jute growers leaders Mohammad Montu Miah, Mokkram Mollah, SKOP central leader Razequzzaman Ratan, Workers Party of Bangladesh(Marxist) general secretary Iqbal Kabir Zahid, Labour leaders Abdus Satter, AKM Zahirul Islam, Revolutionary Workers Party general secretary Saiful Huq, United Communist League general secretary Mosharraf Hossain Nannu, Samajtantrik Andolan convener Hamidul Haque, Democratic Revolutionary Party central leader Shahidul Islam Sabuj and others spoke at the view exchange.