Thousands of workers of nine state-owned jute mills in Khulna-Jashore industrial belt yesterday vowed to launch an indefinite hunger strike from tomorrow demanding due salaries of two weeks and implementation of the wage commission.
Workers of Star, Platinum, Crescent, Alim, Eastern, Daulatpur and Khalishpur jute mills in Khulna and JJI and Carpeting jute mills in Jashore staged sit-in programmes in front of their respective factories around 9:30am.
They staged the demonstration to press home their 11-point demand. The other demands include cancellation of public-private ownership of the jute mills, and the payment of provident fund and gratuity for retired workers.
Anawar Parvez, 57, a worker of Crescent Jute mill who took part yesterday’s demonstration, told The Daily Star that it was not possible for him to switch his job at this age on the one hand while the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation was not clearing his dues on the other.
Sahana Sarmin, president of Platinum workers Union, told The Daily Star that the government was yet to implement the wage commission though it was announced in 2015.
“Government paid due salaries of 12 weeks on December 6, but salaries of two weeks are still pending,” she added.
Murad Hossain, former president of Crescent Jute Mill CBA, said, “The authorities always give assurance as part of their policy to keep the workers away from demonstration.
“But this time, we won’t go back,” he added.
Some 30,600 workers work in the nine state-run jute mills in Khulna and Jashore.