Working-class people observed International Workers’ Day, widely known as May Day, throughout the country on Saturday amid nationwide restrictions to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission.
Trade unions, different labour rights organisations held rallies and discussions and took out processions on a limited scale in Dhaka and elsewhere across the country while others arranged virtual events to avoid gathering.Labour leaders said that workers were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as their occupational safety was not ensured in different sectors, especially labour-intensive readymade garment sector with employment of 4.4 lakh workers.
They demanded risk allowance and quick vaccination for workers.
They said that the government also should set Tk 20,000 as the monthly minimum national wage of a worker as prices of essentials increased over the time.
RMG trade unions in procession and rallies in different industrial belts like Ashulia, Savar, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chattogram demanded festival allowance by Ramadan 20 and rations for workers.
Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad and Bangladesh Garments Workers Solidarity held separate rallies in front of the National Press Club.
Bangladesh Trade Union Sangha, Sramik Karmachari Federation, Textile Garment Workers Federation, Garment Workers Trade Union Centre, and Textile Garment Workers Federation, among others, took out processions in the capital making the day.WARBE Development Foundation and Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendra, among others, held virtual discussions marking the day.
The day was also observed by the Communist Party of Bangladesh, Workers Party, Jatiya Mukti Council, Jatiya Sramik League, Textile Garments Workers Federation, Bangladesh Sramik Karmachari Federation, Imarat Nirman Sramik Union Bangladesh, Tannery Workers Union, Jatiya Sramik Federation, among others.
Safety and Rights Society, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies and Sramik Nirapatta Forum also observed the day.
Dhaka Union of Journalists organised a discussion marking the day at its National Press Club office on the day.