Garment workers again on roads in Dhaka
Readymade garment workers are staging demonstrations in different parts of the capital demanding implementation of the new wage structure. Some factories are kept closed to prevent the labor unrest.
The workers staged demonstrations indiscriminately on roads from 8 am on Saturday. Clashes are taking place with police over the incidents. The angry workers also vandalized some vehicles.
From the morning the garment workers came out on roads in different areas like Bhashantek, Shewrapara of Mirpur. At that period some workers were injured while clashes with police. Some vehicles were also vandalized.
Officer in Charge of Mirpur police station Dadan Fakir said that they were trying to make the workers calm down.
Officer in Charge of Bhashantek police station Munsi Sabbir Ahmed said, several thousand workers took their position on roads of Bhashantek area from the morning. As a result vehicles movement remained stalled. Efforts were going on to move them away from roads.
The garment workers are staging demonstrations by phases for the last one week. The labor ministry on November 25 issued gazette for the new wage structure in garment industry. There the lowest wage was fixed at 8 thousand taka. The new wage structure was active from December. Following the new wage structure the workers began to get their salaries from the current month. Earlier the lowest wage was 5 thousand 300 taka.
On the first week of last December a number of factory workers of Narayanganj and Gazipur went for movement alleging discrimination in the new wage structure. Following efforts of BGMEA and some labor organizations the movement got a little bit motionless before the election. But on Sunday last some workers in Dhaka’s Uttara came down to the streets again and later it spread in different parts of Dhaka.
The workers alleged that in the new wage structure they did not get the desired salaries. On some cases salary has decreased than the previous wage structure.
As the workers took their position on roads the new government took immediate measures and formed a committee to reevaluate the wage structure. A 12-member committee comprising 5 representatives from owners, 5 from workers and Commerce Secretary and Labor Secretary was formed. The committee will find out the discriminations of wages and will take steps to solve the problem within one month. The committee held its first meeting on Thursday.
Committee chief Labor Secretary Afroza Khan assured that after reviewing coordination will be made over the three disputed grades out of seven of the new wage structure.
State Minister for Labor Monnujan Sufian urged the workers to calm down and said, speeches of all will be heard with patience. After hearing, if there is any discrimination in basic or gross level that will be solved. The problems will be solved within short span of time. If there is any discrimination in the wage structure then that will be solved.