Jute mill workers have withdrawn their strike, protests and blockade, following a five-hour meeting with government officials held in Dhaka on Monday night around 11:30 pm.
“The government representatives have assured workers that they will pay them 10 weeks' arrears on April 25 and include all workers in the National Wage Commission attendance sheets by May 18,” said Sarder Motahar Uddin, central president of Bangladesh Jute Workers' League.
“We will discuss other remaining demands and reach a consensus,” he added.
“We requested workers to go back to their respective mills,” he also said.
CBA-Non CBA Oikya Parishad leaders will have another round of talks with Bangladesh Jute Mill Corporation (BJMC) -- scheduled for May 8, Sohorab Hossain, convener of Bangladesh State-Owned Jute Mill CBA-Non CBA Oikya Parishad and general secretary of Crescent Jute Mill's CBA (Collective Bargaining Afents), said.
A press release issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment on Monday night -- signed by BJMC chairman and leaders of different labour organisations -- confirmed setting of workers' wages by May 17 and issuing of wage slips by May 18; clearing all arrears by April 25; and one-week's wages marking the occasion of Shab-e-Barat.
On Monday, workers of state-owned jute mills in different districts started their 96-hour strike from 8am to press home their nine-point demand that include payment of outstanding wages and implementation of the wage commission.
Demonstrators blockaded roads and railways, and staged protests at several points in Khulna, Jashore and Chattogram, threatening to wage tougher movements if their demands were not met by April 18.
From April 2 to 4, jute mill workers observed a 72-hour strike by blocking roads and rail routes to press home their demands.
The workers' demands are: paying the gratuities of retired workers, providing arrears of life insurance policies for deceased workers, reinstating workers terminated or suspended during past movements, payment of arrears and other financial benefits to current workers, implementation of the National Wage Scale-2015, appointing workers and making their jobs permanent as per the law, allocating funds for buying jute during jute season, undertaking a BMRE (balancing, modernisation, rehabilitation and expansion) scheme to increase the productivity of factories and removal of corrupt factory officials.