Friday, June 21, 2024

Protests force 200 RMG factories out of production

Minimum Wage
Protests force 200 RMG factories out of production
Nearly 200 apparel factories in industrial parks around the city went out of production Wednesday as the workers held violent demonstrations demanding better minimum wage.
The apparel workers in Bangladesh, home of the world’s lowest wages, have been demanding better payments for their work. The protesters rejected the minimum monthly wage of Tk 5,300 recommended by the RMG workers’ wage board on Monday saying it was too inadequate to meet the costs when the essential prices were soaring.
They have been demanding Tk8,000 as the minimum monthly wage.
Several apparel workers and six policemen were injured in clashes between the two sides at Gazipur, Narayanganj and Savar.
Workers’ demonstrations blocked a number of highways leading to the capital.
The workers rejected it as too inadequate for meeting daily needs when essential prices were sky rocketing, the factory owners also rejected it saying that they cannot pay so much.
At Gazipur the owners closed 150 factories for the day as the workers clashed with police over the wage issue, New Age Gazipur correspondent reported.
Witnesses said clothing workers from Konabari and Kashimpur in the newly city of Gazipur took held demonstrations in the morning in support of their demand.
The protesters blocked city streets and the Dhaka-Tangail Highway, disrupting traffic.
The police intervened and violent clashes ensued leaving at least 30 injured.
Police fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the workers.
Soon after the workers took to the streets, the owners shut down their factories at Konabari and Kashimpur for the day.
Witnesses said many apparel workers at Konabari and Kashimpur struck work and joined the demonstrations.
Angry workers smashed window panes of some factories in the area by throwing stones.
Gazipur industrial police inspector Nazrul Islam said the unrest prompted several owners to keep their factories closed for the day at Konabari, Jarun and Kashimpur.
There are about 300 factories in the area.
On Tuesday, the owners of nearly 200 factories in the area announced temporary shut downs.
Workers of Hechong, Southern and Palmal group at Baraipara in Kaliakoir upazila struck work and joined the protests.
Additional police were deployed in the areas to quell the unrest.
Savar industrial police sub inspector Omar Faruk said the owners closed the factories of Standard Group and Babylon Group as the workers took out a procession demanding better wages.
Ashulia industrial police inspector Abdus Sattar said workers of the Radiance Group held protests for the second consecutive day in support of their demand.
The owners shut down both the factories for the day.
Protesters workers at Fatullah, Naraynaganj vandalized a factory and blocked the Dhaka-Narayanganj Highway.
Fatullah police station officer-in-charge Akter Hossain said that the protesters vandalized Time Sweater Factory.
Owners in the area kept their factories closed for the day fearing violent protests.
Karmajibi Nari, a labour right body at a press conference at its central office at Segunbagicha said the minimum wage announced was not acceptable.
It called upon the government and the factory owners to fix better minimum wage.
Its executive director Rokeya Rafique said that no worker would not be able maintain their families with the minimum wage recommended.
Bangladesh Trade Union Centre, president Shahidullah Chowdhury and general secretary Wajed-ul Islam Khan in a press statement asked the government and owners to revise the wages so that the workers could pull on.

Courtesy of New Age

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