Workers of D&S Pretty Fashions Ltd, a Mirpur-based sweater factory, yesterday demonstrated in front of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, demanding reopening of the plant as they have been out of work for the past two months.
As many as 200 workers took to the streets as the owner of the company asked them to resign without taking termination benefits, which goes against the labour law, protesters said.
“Many workers had worked at the factory for over seven to eight years, but the owners are paying them a measly amount,” said Zharna Akter, a worker of D&S Pretty Fashions.
The owner plans to shift the production unit from Mirpur to Savar, where other units under the same group are located. As a result, the owner has been terminating the contracts of the workers without paying arrears and other service benefits.
The owner of the unit could not be contacted despite several attempts.
Sirajul Islam Rony, president of Bangladesh National Garments Workers Employees League, claims the owner is shifting the Mirpur unit fearing formation of a trade union, as the labour ministry is about to approve a union for the factory.
Rony threatened to launch tougher agitation if the owner does not pay the workers properly.
“The owner of the factory does not want any union, although the government has already allowed full freedom of association by the workers to realise their demands through demonstrations.”
Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, vice-president of BGMEA, said they would sit with the factory owner to settle the matter soon.