Students, teachers, cultural activists, and civil society members in Khulna yesterday joined the state-owned jute mill workers’ demonstration demanding fair wages and arrears. In Chattogram, workers of Amin Jute Mills resumed their protests after a weekend break.
Workers in Khulna kept the roads and railways to and from the city blocked from 4:00pm to 7:30pm.
Around 5:00pm, over 500 students and teachers from Khulna University, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna Medical College, and activists of Chhatra Federation, Chhatra Front, Chattra Union, Udichi, Khulna Nagorik Forum, and Bangladesh Trade Union joined the workers at Natun Rasta intersection.
Addressing the demonstrators, Mohammed Fayek Uzzaman, VC of Khulna University, said, “We cannot stay at home doing nothing while our workers have been starving for months.”
Civil society platform Khulna Nagorik Samaj formed a human chain at Picture Palace intersection in solidarity with the workers while Udichi activists performed a street drama at Notun Rasta in the evening.
Workers of nine state-owned mills blocked Dhaka-Khulna highway in Kobir Bottola, Notun Rasta, Daulatpur, and Atra areas and railway lines at Notun Rasta and Rajghat, subjecting commuters to long delays.
Murad Hossain, president of Crescent Jute Mills worker’s association, said CBA leaders of the nine mills would decide today how they would continue their protests.
In Chattogram, workers of Amin Jute Mills in Bayezid area protested in front of the mills from 4:00pm-7:00pm.
The have started a strike in their mills on May 13. They, however, did not block any road yesterday.
Workers of seven other jute mills in Chattogram joined work yesterday after a 96-hour strike.
Mahbubul Alam, president of CBA at Hafij Jute Mills, said they would meet CBA leaders in Dhaka today and decided what they can do to press home their demands.
Staff Correspondent from Chattogram and our correspondent in Khulna contributed to the report.