Workers of a knitting and dyeing factory in Tongi yesterday came to the company's headquarters at Bangla Motor in Dhaka to demand their due wages and festival bonuses.
Owners closed Shishir Knitting and Dyeing Factory, a unit of Shishir Group, on July 14, without notice, workers said.
“We waited for 10 days but nobody from the management came to pay our dues,” said Md Mizan, a worker.
About 300 workers of the factory that employs around 1,000 demonstrated in front of Planners' Tower around 1pm and looked for the owners and top management of Shishir Group to demand their dues.
Mina Khanom and Halima Khatun, two of the workers, looked exhausted as they travelled to the protest site through heavy traffic on the roads ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
“I am yet to buy any clothes for my two daughters.
They were asking me when I would get my bonus,” said Mina, a two-year employee of the factory. She is owed Tk 8,400, in one month's salary and bonus.
Mohammad Liton Mia, 20, was worried about how he would go home ahead of Eid. “We need the money badly…please help us get it,” Liton appealed to journalists covering the event.
Shishir Group issued a notice that the Eid bonus and wages would be paid on Friday on the factory premises, Faizul Alam Nibir, a director of the company, claimed. Workers said they do not know anything about the notice.
Nibir also claimed they were forced to close the factory on July 14 because of agitation of workers. He said the workers even stabbed the company's human resources manager and beat up some other officials. “The factory was damaged but we will reopen after Eid,” he said.
Meanwhile, nearly 1,500 workers of Tuba Group also demonstrated in front of the BGMEA office in Dhaka demanding their three months' wages in arrears, along with festival bonus.
Workers from five units of Tuba Group attended the demonstration. Tuba Group is the parent company of Tazreen Fashions that burnt down on November 24, 2012 and killed 112 workers. The group's owner Delwar Hossain is now in jail in the fire incident case, and the BGMEA has been unable to derive a solution for worker payments despite several meetings with the group's management.