Several thousand workers of nine state-run jute mills took to the streets in Khulna and Jashore yesterday, demanding payment of arrears, removal of corrupt officials from the mills and implementation of an already proposed wage commission.
Under the banner of Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) and Non-CBA Oikya Parishad, the workers brought out processions with red flags in Khalishpur Industrial Belt area of Khulna city and the gates of respective jute mills.
The workers' leaders placed a nine-point demand to Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation authorities from the procession.
The nine jute mills in Khulna region that were shut for the protest are: Platinum Jute Mills, Daulatpur Jute Mills, Khalishpur Jute Mills, Crescent Jute Mills, Star Jute Mills, Aleem Jute Mills, Eastern Jute Mills, Jashore Jute Industry and Carpeting Jute Mills.
Sarder Motahar Uddin, central president of Jute Worker's League, also joined the procession. Other leaders present include Salim Akhon, Kawsar Ali Mridha, Murad Hossain, Soharab Hossain and Hemayet Uddin Azadi.
Sohorab Hossain, general secretary of Crescent Jute Mill, and a CBA leader, told The Daily Star that the jute workers had been suffering for various problems for years but the authorities never addressed the issues.
The workers announced further 24-hour work abstention for March 12 and 48-hour shutdown form March 19 if their demands are not met.