Four factories announce holiday, one closed
At least 5,000 workers of two factories at Savar and Ashulia, agitating for long for an increase in stitching charges, on Wednesday vandalised an apparel factory, forcing four factories in the area to announce a holiday for the day and another to announce closure for an indefinite period, the police said.
The Savar police officer-in-charge, Mahbubur Rahman, said that nearly 2500 workers of the Hot Dress Sweater factory, agitating for an increase in the payment for stitching, on Wednesday went on demonstrations in front of the factory after several negotiations in a few days had failed.
When the authorities on Wednesday refused to meet the workers’ demands, a group of workers of Hot Dress at Kalma entered the factory and the other group started vandalising the factory, the police said, quoting witnesses.
Sources said that the Hot Dress management after the last week’s agitation had increased the payment for stitching but the workers were also demanding payment for working overtime.
The management then announced holidays on Thursday and Friday after the agitation, the sources added.
The Hot Dress workers on Wednesday went on demonstrations again and pelted with stones the factory and four other adjacent industries — Dynasty Sweater, New Horizon, Titash and Century Fashion. The workers also called the workers of the adjacent factories to join them.
The management of the four adjacent factories then announced a holiday for the day, factory sources said.
The industrial police, the Savar police and the Ashulia police reached the place and charged at the workers with truncheons. The workers pelted the lawmen with stones. At least 10 people were injured, witnesses said.
The police said that the Hot Dress workers tried to involve the workers of nearby factories in the clash and the police dispersed the workers by charging at them with truncheons.
The Ashulia police officer-in-charge, Sirajul Islam, said that workers of Indian-owned export oriented factory Amara Apparels in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone had also rallied on Wednesday to push for their 12-point demands, which include increase in wages, payment for working overtime and allowances and withdrawal of cases filed against workers.
Witnesses said that the workers had gone on demonstrations after they had joined work as they came to know that the management had prepared a list of 33 workers who would be suspended for their suspected involvement in instigating unrest.
The Ashulia industrial police deputy director Fayezul Kabir, quoting the management said that the factory had been closed for an indefinite period.
The police said that additional forces were deployed in both the places to avoid any untoward incidents.
-With New Age input