Garment workers of a factory in Ashulia report to duty as usual yesterday, defying a strike called by Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee, a temporary platform of 15 trade unions. Photo: Star
Tuba Group has agreed to pay today overtime and wages for July to its workers, who called a strike yesterday in garment factories to press home their demand of full payment at a time.
Their call for strike, however, fizzled out as all the factories remained open and they did not get much support from other garment workers.
The arrears will be given today from 2:00pm at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) headquarters.
The decision came at a meeting between the owners of Tuba Group and representatives of BGMEA, workers and the government at the Parliament Members Club yesterday.
Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu were there.
However, decision on payment of the Eid bonuses and resuming production in all five factories of the group remained uncertain.
''The owner will pay the bonus later," Atiqul Islam, BGMEA president told The Daily Star over the phone. He, however, did not make it clear when the bonuses would be paid. Khokon Mia, a worker of the Tuba Group, was unhappy. "We want all payment at one go. The BGMEA has been taking time for payment which is not right," he said.
Following rumours of vacancies, a large number of garment workers throng the Sharmin Group factory at Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital yesterday asking for jobs. A security man at the gate is seen telling them to go away since there were no jobs there. Photo: Palash Khan
The meeting was held at a time when Tuba Group Shramik Sangram Committee, a temporary platform of 15-trade union organisations, called upon workers in garment industrial areas to take part in a strike to help nearly 1,600 of their fellow workers get due pays.
Tight security, inadequate campaign for the strike, fear of detention by police, job loss and lack of willingness among workers resulted in the strake falling flat on its face, sources said.
Additional police were deployed in Savar and Ashulia industrial areas to avoid any untoward incidents, reports our Savar correspondent.
"Police threatened to arrest us and file cases if anyone tried to bring out rally," said a trade union leader at Ashulia industrial area. He was present at a meeting held at the Industrial Police office in Ashulia on Friday.
Mostafizur Rahman, director of Industrial Police-1 in Dhaka (Ashulia), denied issuing any threats at the meeting and said he had called in the workers for "counselling".
Several workers in Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur industrial zones, however, claimed that their leaders did not inform them about the strike and that they had learned about it from the media.
Abu Sayeed, a worker of another garment factory in Ashulia, said he did not know about the strike and went to work as usual.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, who is the convener of Garment Shramik Samannay Parishad, said the Parishad comprising of 50 labour associations had nothing to do with the call for strike.
Moshrefa Mishu, president of the Garment Workers Unity Forum, a member of the Shramik Sangram Committee, said, "We want full payment of all dues. We demand the owner pays Eid bonuses within two-three days."
She also demanded resumption of production at the Tuba Group factories and the cancellation of owner Delwar Hossain's bail.
Delwar had been detained in jail since February in a case filed in connection with the 2012 fire at Tazreen Fashions that killed 112 people. Tazreen Fashions belonged to Tuba Group.