• Monday, December 22, 2014

Freedom in the air

UNREST AT TUBA GROUP

Workers reject new wage date, continue demo

Star Online Report
Doctors take care of a garment worker of Tuba Group who is on hunger strike with her colleagues inside the factory in Badda in the capital on Sunday. They have been on the strike since the day before Eid demanding unpaid wages of three months and Eid bonuses. Photo: Amran Hossain
Doctors take care of a garment worker of Tuba Group who is on hunger strike with her colleagues inside the factory in Badda in the capital on Sunday. They have been on the strike since the day before Eid demanding unpaid wages of three months and Eid bonuses. Photo: Amran Hossain

The agitating garment workers of Tuba Group this afternoon vowed to continue their demonstration rejecting the authorities' assurance of payment of two months' wages on Wednesday. 

Today, the seventh day of their mass hunger strike, they insisted that the owners pay their three months' due salaries and festival bonuses in full and immediately.

The workers' announcement came around 6:30pm, one and half hours after the garment factory owners' association -- Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters' Association (BGMEA) -- had asked them to end their demonstration and return to work.

The workers also vowed to lay siege to BGMEA Bhaban in the Dhaka on Tuesday.

The RMG workers started the fast-unto-death on the seventh floor of Hossain Super Market at Pragati Sarani on July 28 demanding their unpaid salaries for the months of May, June and July and Eid bonus.

Health condition of at least seven workers deteriorated today, said the medical team working for the labourers.

Earlier, in a press conference at the Hossain Super Market which houses three units of the group today, Garment Workers Unity Forum president Moshrefa Mishu, threatened to lay seize the BGMEA Bhaban at 11:00am.

The agitating workers also decided to hold rallies and bring out processions in every RMG industrial area across the county at 4:00pm tomorrow.

Hours after the workers' threat, BGMEA leaders at an emergency meeting this afternoon decided to pay the salaries to 1,600 workers from their own fund.

“We will pay the salaries for two months. The rest of the dues will be paid by the Tuba Group,” BGMEA acting president SM Mannan Kochi told The Daily Star.

In an instant reaction, Mishu, who has been fasting along with the RMG workers of Tuba Group since Monday, threatened to continue their programme rejecting the BGMEA's assurance.

Meanwhile, the leaders and activists of Gonotantrik Bam Morcha, which expressed solidarity with the demonstrating workers, have decided to lay siege to the labour ministry at 11:00am Monday, its convener Subhrangshu Chakravarty told The Daily Star.

More than Tk 4.14 crore is needed to pay three months' arrears and Eid bonus to 1,600 workers of the Group.

Both the BGMEA and Tuba management had applied for bank loans to pay the workers. But the applications were rejected for failure to provide a guarantee from Group's Managing Director Delwar Hossain, who has been in jail since February 9 for his role in Tazreen fire that killed 112 people in November 2012.

Published: 12:24 pm Sunday, August 03, 2014

Last modified: 9:39 pm Sunday, August 03, 2014

TAGS: hunger strike garment workers RMG BGMEA Tuba Group labour ministry Bam Morcha lay seize

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