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8 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Workers’ protests continue for 2nd day

Staff Reporter, Dhaka

Workers various readymade garments (RMG) factories took to the streets in Uttara, Savar and Gazipur yesterday for the second consecutive day seeking a wage hike and payment of arrears and other benefits. This resulted in gridlocks on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway and Airport Road for five hours.

A bus of ENA Paribahan was vandalised and torched by the workers at 1pm on Airport Road. After a five-hour-long protest on Sunday, garments workers again took to the streets at 9 am yesterday. Assistant police commissioner of the Airport zone, Mizanur Rahman, told The Independent: “The police dispersed the protesters around 2pm. The traffic at the vital intersection in front of Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport slwoly began to move around 2:20pm.”

Witnesses said the workers gathered at the key road at 9am and were dispersed at 2pm following requests from law enforcers and garments owners. The workers blocked roads in Gazipur, Dakshinkhan and Savar area as the police foiled their agitation in that area. The law enforcers fired seven rounds of rubber bullets, which left at least 15 workers injured. A clash with the cops in the Malekerbari area left several workers and five cops injured.

Later, the workers came to Uttara and staged a demonstration, blocking both sides of the road and creating heavy traffic congestion. At many points, they were seen carrying sticks.

Police officials used loudspeakers, asking the garments workers several times to remove the blockade following a negotiation between RMG owners and garments workers on the spot.

According to the traffic control room of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, when the situation did not improve, 10 garment factory owners met with police to discuss the matter around 2pm. Later, the police force removed the protesters from the streets. The traffic in the area gradually began to move after that.

The workers alleged that the monthly wage in the seventh grade increased to Tk. 8,000 from Tk. 5,300 as per the latest gazette published by the government last year. However, the salary of the workers in other grades did not increase at the same rate.

They said that the salary hike for entry-level workers was more than that of their senior operators, who had been working for more than seven to eight years. The new wage has become effective from December 1. Major disparity in the salary hike was noticed in the third and fourth grades, as their salaries were not raised like that of entry-level workers, the workers alleged.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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