The workers of a garment factory blocked Dewanhat Intersection in Chittagong city for three hours today demanding reopening of their factory soon.
The workers removed the barricade from the road around 1:00pm following a meeting with representatives of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the factory owners.
After the meeting, the factory owners agreed to pay the pending salaries and arrears to the workers in different phases.
More than 500 workers of Techno Dresses Ltd took to the street around 9:45am when they came to know that the authorities have declared a lay-off.
The workers took to the streets halting traffic movement on roads stretching from Dewanhat Intersection to Agra and Ispahani.
Zahangir Alam, general secretary of United Federation of Garment Workers, Chittagong, said the workers started the demonstration when the security guard barred them from entering the factory in the morning.
Salaries and arrears of all workers remain unpaid for the last three months, he said.
Abdul Ahad, managing director of Techno Dresses Ltd, said, “It was misunderstanding between the workers and the management. I was not aware of it.”
Admitting to the non-payment of salaries and arrears, he said, “We will pay those in phases.”
“We have been running the factory for the last eight year without any problem over the salary and arrear issues. But we do not have any work order right now,” he added.
Arifur Rahman, inspector of industrial police (intelligence) in Chittagong, said three platoons of forces have been deployed in the area to avert further tension.
Yesterday, authorities of the factory declared a lay-off saying that there is no order for the workers, said BGMEA deputy secretary Karim Ullah.
The BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) leader said they were trying to negotiate with the factory owners to reopen it soon.