Dhaka, Jun 12 (bdnews24.com) — Agitating readymade garment workers have been requested to report for work on Wednesday.
The request came from a tripartite meeting attended by factory owners, and government and workers' representatives following workers unrest at Ashulia on Tuesday morning. Labour Minister Khondker Mosharraf Hossain presided over the meeting held at the Secretariat.
Workers of Artistic Design Limited, a subsidiary of Ha-Meem Group, owned by FBCCI President AK Azad, clashed with police during a demonstration demanding a raise in their salary. The clash ensued as the workers blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway at Narasinghapur in the morning.
The Artistic Design Limited was closed for an indefinite period following an attack while over a hundred industrial units located in the area shut their day's operations to prevent possible escalation of unrest. On Monday, workers of the same Ha-Meem group had staged demonstration to press for their demand.
General Secretary of Garment Shramik Trade Union Ruhul Amin, who was present during the meeting, said that workers had been requested to report for work on Wednesday.
"Workers will have to join work in their own interest," said Amin.
He also mentioned that the tripartite meeting would be held once again on Wednesday afternoon to find the cause behind the unrest and discuss the demand of the workers.
The labour minister told journalists, "We don't know anything specifically about the recent workers' unrest. We don't even know what their demands are. Today's (Tuesday) meeting ended without reaching any decision."
The minister, however, urged the workers to resume work from Wednesday morning.
Leaders from BGMEA and members of parliament from the area Talukder Md Touhid Jong Murad also attended the meeting.
BGMEA Vice-President Siddiqur Rahman, Bangladesh Exporter's Association's President Abdus Salam Murshedi, SM Fazlul Hoque from Bangladesh Employers Federation, Shramik League President Abdul Matin Master and Garment Shramik leader Shamima Nasrin also attended the meeting.
Project Director of Ha-Meem group at Ashulia Mohammad Ali Mandal said that their factory had been closed for an indefinite period.
He also mentioned that workers from the nearby industries also joined the agitating factory workers who took to the street demanding a raise of Tk 2,000 in their salaries because of hike in the prices of essentials and house rent at Ashulia.
Industrial Police-1 Ashulia Zone Inspector Mukhlesur Rahman said the aggrieved workers entered the compound of the factory owned by Pall Mall group by breaking into its main entrance around 9:15am at Jamgora. They vandalised four-five cars and windowpanes and doors of the factory.
Police fired rubber bullets and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the agitating workers at 12pm, when traffic movement on Dhaka-Tangail highway could resume.