• Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuba workers scuffle with cops

Star Online Report
Two female workers of Tuba Group, who are observing hunger strike inside the factory demanding their due salaries, watching the sit-in programme organised by their colleagues and activists of left parties Friday in front of the factory on Gulshan-Badda link road in the capital. Photo: Palash Khan
Two female workers of Tuba Group, who are on hunger strike with their fellows inside the factory demanding their due salaries, watching the sit-in programme organised by their colleagues and activists of left parties Friday in front of the factory on Gulshan-Badda link road in the capital. Photo: Palash Khan

A section of demonstrating garment workers of Tuba Group scuffled with law enforcers this afternoon after police foiled their procession on Badda-Gulshan link road.

But none was hurt during the incident.

Earlier in the morning, they staged a sit-in on the link road after being failed to hold a rally in front of Hossain Market, which houses the units, in face of police resistance.

Traffic movement on the road was partially disrupted following the agitation programme till afternoon.

At least 1,600 workers are continuing their hunger strike for the sixth consecutive day today to realise their five-point demand including unpaid salary and Eid bonus and cancellation of the bail reportedly granted to the group's managing director Delwar Hossain.

The workers along with the activists of 11 left parties, who joined the agitation yesterday under the banner of Tuba Group Sramik (workers) Sangram Committee, started gathering in front of the factory housed at Hossain Market at Badda to hold a prescheduled rally.

They were carrying banners, placards and festoons to hold the programme.

As police resisted them from holding the rally, they sat on the road blocking one side of the street at about 11:00am.

After the agitation programme, the workers and activists tried to bring out a procession at about 1:00pm but they were resisted by law enforcers, triggering a scuffle.    

Expressing solidarity with the workers, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Mujahidul Islam Selim went to the spot and said the garment owners are committing genocide by depriving of their workers from arrears.     

Addressing the programme, Anu Mohammad chief of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Natural Resources, Power and Port, urged the government to mount pressure on the owner of the Tuba Group and BGMEA so that they meet the demands in 24 hours.

Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) General Secretary Khalequzzaman and women leader Khushi Kabir, among others, addressed the programme.

The workers could not go home during the Eid holiday being left without three months' arrears and festival bonus. The day before Eid-ul-Fitr, they began the hunger strike on the premises of Hossain Market.

At a press conference on Thursday, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said they would make the payments within seven days as they are negotiating with a bank for a loan.

But the workers have been continuing their protest rejecting the BGMEA’s offer.

The group needs Tk 4.14 crore for the payments.

Delwar, managing director of Tuba Group, has been in jail since February in a case filed over the fire at Tazreen Fashions, a concern of the group, in 2012. At least 112 workers were killed in the incident.

Meanwhile, at least 75 workers who are on hunger strike felled sick and taking saline. Of them, Shahida Akhtar has been taken at Dhanmandi Gono Shastha Hospital as her condition was deteriorated.  

Earlier, ten workers have been hospitalised.

Published: 12:36 pm Saturday, August 02, 2014

Last modified: 9:49 pm Saturday, August 02, 2014

TAGS: garment workers Tuba Group Badda-Gulshan road

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