At least three female workers of a garment factory were allegedly beaten by goons hired by their employers for protesting dismissal of their colleague in Gazipur yesterday.
Jorina, 27, Rina, 29, and Nasima, 33, took treatment at a local hospital, said witnesses.
Workers of Apparel-21 Ltd in Shirirchala area of Sadar upazila abstained from work on Thursday as the factory authorities terminated one of their colleagues, Sohag Hossain alias Sumon, without paying due wages, they said.
A gang of goons allegedly hired by the authorities also threatened Sumon and his fellow Abdur Rahman for protesting the incident, they added.
Following the threat, other workers demonstrated in front of the factory on Saturday.
Yesterday, they found a notice mentioning that the factory has been shut down for an indefinite period, prompting the workers to demonstrate further, said workers.
However, they could not continue the protest in the face of police action at that time.
While retreating, the workers came under the attack by the gang, injuring several of them including the three, said the workers.
Gazipur Industrial Police Sub-inspector Saiful Islam said they dispersed the workers while they were trying to block Gazipur-Mymensingh highway.
Denying the allegation of beating the workers, the factory Administrative Officer SM Altaf Hossain said the workers stopped production on Thursday, violating the factory rule.
The authorities offered a solution through discussion but the workers refused it, he said.
He alleged the workers also ransacked the factory on Wednesday and Thursday, leading to the closure.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Mahmud Hasan of Gazipur said at a meeting, between the workers and the factory authorities, a decision came to reinstate the sacked worker or to pay him off within two days.
Later, the factory will be reopened, he said.