The daylong negotiations between the representatives of agitating jute mill workers and government officials ended without any result yesterday.
The worker leaders said they would announce the next course of action after a discussion with all the worker representatives from 23 jute mills across the country in Dhaka today.
“The talks have failed. We will decide at today's meeting whether we will go for fresh demonstrations,” SM Kamruzzaman Chunnu, general secretary of Bangladesh Jute Mill Workers League (BJMWL), told The Daily Star yesterday evening.
AKM Tareque, secretary of the Bangladesh Jute Mill Corporation (BJMC), said, “They [worker leaders] wanted a deadline. But we have no authority to set any timeframe. Unless the government releases fund, we have nothing to do.
“Besides, we need time to assess how much money we will need for workers' wages under the wage scale [of 2015].”
BJMC Chairman Shah Muhammad Nasim and Director Delwar Hossain also took part in the daylong talks.
Since March 29, jute mill workers had been demonstrating to press home their nine-point demand.
Their demands include clearing all arrears, implementing the National Wage Scale 2015, payments related to gratuities and insurance claims of retired and deceased workers, and reinstating those who lost jobs during previous demonstrations.
“We demanded a fixed timeframe, ten to 15 days, to meet at least two of our demands -- implementing the wage scale and clearing arrears of last eight weeks. But they [officials] want time until June,” said Kamruzzaman Chunnu.