100 RMG units come to a halt as workers continue protest for wage hike
Published : Thursday, 10 January, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 838
At least 100 out 500 readymade garment (RMG) factories have stopped production in Savar and Ashulia areas on Wednesday due to the ongoing workers unrest.
Meanwhile, at least 50 people were injured in separate clashes between RMG workers and police in Savar, Ashulia and parts of Gazipur district.
Workers from different garment factories are holding demonstrations at Kalshi in Mirpur since Wednesday morning. They have tried to put up road blockades at Dakkhinkhan and Savar.
Fifteen RMG factories in Savar and Ashulia have shut down following the recent protest by garment workers over the newly-announced wage structure. At least 50 factories shut down in Gazipur district on Wednesday.
Ashulia Industrial Police (Dhaka 1) SP Sana Saminur Rahman, told journalists the owners of the factories, where the workers have been demonstrating, took the decision after the recent protests.
He said there are around 500 factories in Savar and Ashulia areas.
However, the names and details of the garment factories are yet to be known.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and State Minister for Labour Monnuzan Sufian held an emergency meeting with factory owners, labour representatives and law-enforcing agencies.
"A 12-strong panel will review workers wage and follow up with steps within one month," Commerce Minister Tipu announced after the meeting.
Witness said, at one stage, the workers hurled brick chips at police triggering a chase and counter-chase that lasted for about an hour.
Police charged batons and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the crowd leaving at least 30 people injured, according to witnesses.
A tense situation is prevailing in the area following the incident.
The workers held demonstration in Savar for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding implementation of the minimum wage structure.
Traffic movement on Baipile-Abdullahpur Highway remained suspended for about an hour as the RMG workers put up barricades on the road at Narsinghapur of Ashulia.
The garment workers also blocked Dhaka-Aricha Highway in Kalampur of Dhamrai in the morning, halting traffic movement for nearly an hour.
However, they left the place upon request by the law enforcement agency men.
Workers of several garment factories have been protesting against the discrepancies of the newly-announced wage structure in Savar and in different parts of Dhaka for the last three days.
At least 30 people were injured in separate clashes between RMG industry workers and police in the Ulail and Ganda areas of Savar in the morning. On the other hand, 20 people, including two journalists were injured in a clash between police and RMG workers in Gazipur in the afternoon.
Workers from garment factories in Uttarkhan and Dakkhinkhan descended on the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway in small bands and tried to block entry to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport but were stopped by police on Wednesday.
"There was some tension in the morning but it is now over. The workers are dispersed in smaller groups. The police are on alert," Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Nur Alam told journalists.
The police drove away the workers who tried to assemble at the factory of Metro Knitting and Dying in Ashulia and at three factories of Standard Group.