Labour leaders yesterday urged jute factory owners to clear worker salaries and festival bonuses before Eid.
They also threatened to demonstrate in front of the head offices of the factories if the owners fail to pay the workers before the festival, said Lutfar Rahman, joint convener of Jute-Textile Workers Action Committee.
The leaders demanded forming a pay commission for jute workers.
Rahman said the government should take steps to start privatising the closed jute factories soon, a step forward to rejuvenate the sector, which is on the verge of destruction.
Rahman advised the government to immediately implement the jute packaging law, as the compulsory use of jute sacks to pack food items and agricultural produce could boost the sector.
In a bid to cushion the export-dependent industry against fluctuations in international trade, the government in 2010 made the mandatory jute packaging law, which was effective from October 2013.
The lack of marketing is to blame for slowing demand for jute products both at home and abroad, he said.
The government should upgrade machineries of jute factories to reach the production target, he said.
The government should stop privatisation of jute mills, including Alim Jute Mills in Khulna, he said.
Some factory owners are offering low prices to grab business from others, said Shahidullah Chowdhury, convener of the Jute-Textile Workers Action Committee.
People have lack of awareness as they are using polythene bags instead of the environment-friendly jute bags, he said.
“The government should create awareness among the people.”