Six workers of Goodrich Sweaters Ltd, a factory of Skyline Group in Ashulia, started an indefinite hunger strike in front of Ashulia Press Club yesterday, after they were allegedly forced out from their jobs.
They started the strike around 10am and continued till filing of this report around 4pm.
Workers alleged that without any specific reason, factory authorities on July 30 forced six workers to resign, after taking their signatures on blank papers and collecting their factory identity cards.
After the incident, they filed written complaints with industrial police, a labour organisation and Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, demanding to get their job back. But the matter was not resolved.
"That's why we started this hunger strike, and we'll continue until something is done," said Shirin, one of the workers.
"We and our families are going through a hard time after factory authorities unlawfully forced us to resign," she said.
Sorwar Hossain, organising secretary (central committee) of Bangladesh Textile and Garments Workers League, told The Daily Star, "After the workers informed us of the incident, we communicated with the factory authorities, industrial police and officials of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, but found no solution to this issue."
Forcing workers out of jobs without prior notice is unlawful, he said.
Contacted, Anisur Rahman Rana, manager (administration) of Skyline Group, denied the workers' claims and told this newspaper that they did not take signatures nor collected their ID cards.
"We have about 1,400 workers in the sweater section, and six of them were temporarily suspended and served show cause notice, as they were trying to disrupt the working atmosphere by protesting the authority's decision to provide five-day leave for Eid-ul-Azha," he said.
If the workers can prove their innocence, they will be reinstated, he added.
Contacted, Assistant Superintendent of Police Mahmud Naser Jony of Dhaka Industrial Police-1 said they are looking into the matter.