Garment makers seek security for factories | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 19, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 19, 2008

Garment makers seek security for factories

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A file photo taken September 15, 2006 shows garment workers demonstrating at Muktangon in Dhaka demanding re-fixing of their minimum wage. In the wake of attack on garment factories entrepreneurs yesterday asked the government to provide security for their units. Photo: STAR

Garment entrepreneurs yesterday asked the government to provide security for their factories.
The request was made when a seven-member delegation of apparel makers met Home Adviser Major General (Retd) MA Matin in his office at the secretariat.
The plea comes as attacks on garment factories and clashes between garment workers and the police have become a regular phenomenon, causing a huge business loss.
“We are really concerned about the regular incidents of attacks in the garment factories,” Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Anwar-ul Alam Chowdhury told reporters after the meeting.
At least 40, including 11 policemen, were injured in sporadic clashes between garment workers and the law enforcers at Sheorapara in Mirpur on Tuesday. Such incidents are also frequent in Savar and Gazipur.
“We want security for workers and for our businesses,” said Anwar. “The government should provide security as we are paying taxes,” he added.
When asked about Matin's reaction, the BGMEA president said that the adviser also shared his concern after learning about the dire situation now prevailing in the garment sector.
During the hour-an-a-half long meeting the garment owners also expressed sheer disappointment over the authorities' failure to establish the proposed Industrial Police.
The home adviser assured the team of taking measures to ensure security, he said.
The BGMEA leader said most of those who are unleashing attacks on garment factories and creating anarchy in the sector are not garment workers.
Asked whether there is political linkage in it, he said, “I don't believe politicians are behind this because they are well aware of the importance of the industry.”
On the heel of growing unrest in the garment industries the home ministry in 2006 decided to form a separate police wing styled 'Industrial Police' to deal tackle industrial violence.
But the move was lost in the political violence that gripped the country in mid 2006 and lasted till the formation of the present caretaker government in January the following year.
Although the garment workers are seemed demonstrating for salary hike and realisation of other rights, many government agencies believe outside elements have hands in it to destroy the country's garment industry.

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