Over 100 factories shut after RMG workers unrest

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Readymade garment workers are seen chanting slogans from a demonstration organised in Savar for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding implementation of minimum wage structure. Photo: UNBAt least 50 people were injured in separate clashes between readymade garment (RMG) workers and police in Savar, Ashulia and parts of Gazipur district on Wednesday, reports UNB.

In Savar, workers from different RMG factories in Ulail of Savar and Kathgara in Ashulia took to the streets with processions demanding their wage hike, witnesses said.

At one stage, the workers hurled brickbats at police triggering a chase and counter-chase that lasted for about an hour.

Police charged baton and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse them, leaving at least 30 people injured, according to the witnesses.

A tense situation is prevailing in the area following the incident.

Readymade garment workers hold a demonstration organised in Savar for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding implementation of minimum wage structure. Photo: UNBMeanwhile, a team of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) was seen patrolling the area to fend off further troubles.

Traffic movement on Baipile-Abdullahpur highway remained suspended for about an hour as the RMG workers put up barricades in 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.

Earlier in the morning, thousands of garment workers in different parts of the industrial zone started demonstrations for the fourth consecutive day, demanding cancellation of what they called discriminatory wage board announced by the government.

Officials of the Industrial police said the workers from several RMG factories in Ulail and Genda areas started gathering on the streets since morning and began demonstrations by setting tyres on fire.

The agitated workers also hurled brick chips at their factories, said witnesses.

On information, police went to the spots and brought the situation under control.

Readymade garment workers hold a demonstration organised in Savar for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding implementation of minimum wage structure. Photo: UNBThe workers of five factories put up barricades on Bishmile-Jirabo road in Kathgara of Ashulia demanding the wage hike.

Production in four factories in Ulail, Hemayetpur of Savar and Charabagh of Ashulia, remained suspended since morning following the workers’ unrest.

The factory authorities, meanwhile, have hung closure notices at the gates of their respective factories.

Additional police have been deployed in Savar and Ashulia areas to avoid further troubles, said Shana ShaminurRahman, director of Industrial Police-1.

Police were in discussions with the factory owners to find out ways to restore the working environment in the factories.

According to UNB Gazipur correspondent, at least 20 people, including a journalist of Somoy Television, was injured during a clash with police on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Gazipura at noon.

When workers of different RMG factories tried to stage demonstrations blocking the highway, police charged baton and lobbed tear gas shells, leaving over 20 people, including Somoy TV journalist Asad Nur, injured, witnesses said.

Bashon police station officer-in-charge Mokter Hossain said RMG workers of Kashimpur Board Bazar and other adjoining areas started demonstrations in the morning demanding their wage hike.

Readymade garment workers hold a demonstration organised in Savar for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding implementation of minimum wage structure. Photo: UNBThey vandalised some factories and blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail highways for some time.

The authorities of over 100 factories in the areas declared their factories shut for today [Wednesday] fearing vandalism.

Huge law enforcers have been deployed in Konabari, Chandna, Kashimpur, Tongi and other industrials areas to avert troubles, said Bashon thana officer-in-charge Mokter Hossain.

Eight platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) also have been deployed in Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur industrial areas to tackle the situation, BGB public relations officer Mohsin Reza told UNB.

Earlier, Sumon Mia, 22, a worker of Anlima Textile, was killed and 30 others injured in clashes with police during demonstrations in Hemayetpur on the third day of the movement on Tuesday.

The authorities of Anlima Textile declared a general holiday for Wednesday following the death of its worker.

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