At least 4,000 workers at East Narshingpur area of Ashulia yesterday demonstrated inside the factory in the morning demanding arrears, annual earned leave allowance and Eid bonus.
Workers said at least four of their colleagues received minor injuries when the police sprayed water with cannon and released 15 rounds of tear gas on the agitating workers at around 11:30am.
"We rejoined the factory on the first week of May and we have been doing our duty peacefully until Wednesday," said a worker, seeking anonymity.
"We were staging sit-in programme inside the factory as the authority is yet to pay our salary for April, and yearly earning allowance of last year. They [factory authority] are also yet to fix the date for paying Eid bonus," she added.
"We are passing a difficult time amid this shutdown. Homeowners are not waiving rent. Even, we wanted to accept 60 per cent salary for April but factory owner yet to pay that," said another worker, "We will starve if we don't get paid."
The Daily Star could not reach Arifur Rahman Sinha, managing director of Medlar Apparels Ltd. over phone despite multiple attempts. Text messages also went unreplied.
Md Rezwan Selim, a director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), who deals with labour unrest said they are in discussion with the factory's management regarding the delayed payment. "The delay may be caused by international buyers delaying their payments," Selim said.
Jane Alam Khan, additional superintendent of police of Dhaka Industrial Police-1 told The Daily Star, they had to break and enter through the main entrance of the factory and used some tear gas shells and water cannon calm the unrest.
Jane Alam said the factory authority claim they have already sent the salary for April to workers' bank accounts, but workers say they are yet to be paid.