THE incident at Tuba group is a typical example of how we managed to turn an isolated incident of workers' disgruntlement over pay issues into a national issue. With the deployment of high-handed measures in an effort to forcibly clear the premises of what was essentially a peaceful gathering of workers, we have managed to put the international spotlight back on the RMG sector. Overnight, an incident of agitating workers in a single factory has become a national issue that threatens wider labour unrest in the RMG sector.
We question the logic behind the use of police, especially when arrears over back pay and Eid festivity bonus were in the process of being paid. There are serious questions as to why even after the Managing Director of the Tuba Group was released on bail he has not been available to redress the issue of pay and bonus. At a time when the country is being watched by important international buyers of RMG and progress on the tripartite agreement on safety of workers at the workplace is coming up for review, surely we could have done better than allow a one-factory issue becoming a national one. The damage to our goodwill has been done. Now it is time to expeditiously sort out the situation with the government bringing all concerned parties, including the Tuba management and workers' union representatives to the negotiation table to sort out the mess before it turns into a fiasco with industry-wide ramifications.