RMG Workers Continue Protests

Govt forms 12-member body to review wage structure

Staff Correspondent

11 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Ready-made garment workers continued their demonstrations for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday at Mirpur in the capital and Ashulia over ‘disparity’ in their new wage structure.

They are demanding cancellation of the ‘discriminatory wage board’ announced by the government.

In Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital, thousands of workers from various factories at Katgora, Puturia, Jamgara, Kuturia and Berun took to the streets around 8:00am. Agitators blocked the road in Katgora area.

Police urged them to leave the road. But the workers burned various objects in an attempt to block the road.

At one stage, a clash ensued between the police and workers. Police threw tear gas canisters at workers who tried to block the road, leaving 10 persons injured.

Like Katgora, workers also staged demonstrations in Jamgara and Kuturia areas. At least 30 workers and police personnel were injured in a clash between police and workers.

The garment workers also tried to block Baipail area in the morning. Police fired tear gas canisters and charged batons on the workers, leaving 20 people hurt.

Paramilitary force Border Guard Bangladesh members, who were deployed since Wednesday, were seen in large numbers, keeping a vigil watch at different points.

About 50 factories remained closed in Ashulia area due to the labour unrest.

In Mirpur, garment workers took to the streets at Kalshi for the fifth day on Thursday.

Workers of some garment factories, including Standard Garments, joined the agitation programme and blocked the road.

Commuters experienced huge traffic congestion on Kalshi road and surrounding areas due to the road blockade.

A large number of policemen were deployed in front of Standard Garments for safety.

After some time, owner of Standard Group Mosharraf Hossain came to the spot.

Later, the RMG workers called off their protests and road blockade in Kalshi area following assurances of the factory owners.

They announced that they would go back to work from Saturday (January 12).

Imranul Hassan Prince, inspector of Pallabi police, said the owners have reassured the workers that they will be paid according to the new wage board.

On Wednesday, Savar turned into a virtual battleground due to the clash between the workers and the police. The situation was relatively calm on Thursday.

RMG workers continued demonstrations demanding a change in the new wage structure and cancellation of what they call a ‘discriminatory wage board’ announced by the government for them.

On Tuesday, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and State Minister for Labour Monnujan Sufian held an emergency meeting with factory owners, labour representatives and law enforcement agencies.

From the meeting, a 12-member committee was formed to review workers wage board within one month.

Although the government made a committee for review of the new wage structure, RMG workers continue their demonstrations.

People related to the sector alleged that a vested quarter is trying to make the country unstable in the name of dissatisfaction over the new wage board of ready-made garment (RMG) workers.