Hardly a few days left to the holy festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, garment workers’ agitation demanding wages and festival bonus is becoming more intense by the day.
On Wednesday, thousands of workers employed in at least 40 readymade garment factories in the garment manufacturing hubs of Chittagong, Narayanganj, Dhaka, Gazipur, Ashulia, etc. took to the streets and staged demonstrations demanding full wage of April and festival allowance, claimed media reports.
In Kamalpur area of the capital city, workers of Binny Garments staged demonstrations while in Shyampur, Gulshan and Fatullah, workers of Civic Garments, Shamser Apparels and Hamid Fashion reportedly blocked roads and disrupted traffic demanding early disbursal of wages and dues.
Similar scenes were also witnessed in the other areas as well after workers from 10 factories in Ashulia, 24 from Gazipur, 4 in Narayanganj and 5 in Chittagong staged demonstrations and blocked various important roads including Dhaka Mymensingh highway and Abdullahpur-Baipail highway.
Meanwhile, the apex garment makers’ bodies in the country, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in a joint statement expressed concerns over the continuing agitation as well as vandalism being carried out by some workers in various factories in the last few days.
Keeping the same in consideration, the traders’ bodies have called upon the Government to take immediate and necessary action so as to bring back normalcy as the continued workers’ agitation and vandalism could force many factory owners to shut down their units for indefinite period, for good.
They also warned that such a situation would further dissuade entrepreneurs from investing in the readymade garment sector, which could hit employment generation and the overall economy.
The BGMEA and the BKMEA also underlined that some vested interests are engaged in creating this disorder in the sector and some factories that have already cleared the workers’ wages and dues also had to face vandalism in the name of protests.