Restaurant workers demand cash support
Restaurant workers yesterday demanded cash support and food rations from the government in order to survive the week-long "hard lockdown" beginning today.
They made this plea during a rally in front of the National Press Club, organised by the Bangladesh Hotel Restaurant Sweetmeat Workers Federation (BHRSWF).
To tame the recent surge in coronavirus infections across the country, the government has once again imposed strict restrictions on movement for a week-long period, during which all offices, hotels, and restaurants will be shuttered.
These restrictions will force restaurant workers to sit idle at home and suffer from a loss of income, the BHRSWF said.
For example, many restaurant workers became jobless when the government declared a general holiday to curb the spread of Covid-19 during the initial outbreak in March last year.
At the time, numerous workers were sacked without being paid their arrears.
They also did not receive any festival bonus during Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Azha.
And now once again, owners have sent their workers on leave in line with the government's directive but without paying the monthly salaries, the federation said.
As a result, hotel and restaurant workers are passing hard times, it added.
Akhtaruzzaman Khan, vice-president of the BHRSWF, said that during Ramadan every year, owners usually send their workers home empty-handed.
"And as the restriction is set to begin, the same thing will occur again," he added.
Considering the situation, the BHRSWF submitted a seven-point demand, including Tk 10,000 monthly cash support and food rations, to the Prime Minister's Office after the rally.
The federation estimates that more than 30 lakh workers are employed by hotels and restaurants across the country.