Swan workers yet to get paid

Demonstrations continue

Defying rainfall all throughout the day, over 100 workers of Swan Garments (Pvt) Ltd staged a sit-in in front of the capital's Jatiya Press Club for the ninth day yesterday demanding four months' wage arrears and Eid bonus while the government is yet to resolve the issue though the factory closed three months back.

“The government and owners remain indifferent even though workers passed Eid day here. It proves that they have no responsibility,” said Ruhul Amin, general secretary of Garment Workers' Trade Union Centre, which brought the workers together.

He was addressing a press briefing there. A statement of the union released afterwards said the factory, situated in Mollartek, closed on April 10 without any prior notice, leaving nearly 1,300 workers in uncertainty.z

“None of the rules relating to closure has been followed. As a result, we are forced to continue our movement,” it read, adding that the union had earlier sought the intervention of the government and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

“None have come up so far to relieve the sufferings of workers who are in hardship,” said Ruhul.

The union accused the government of dilly-dallying over the issue by making promises in the last three months.

Early this month, the labour ministry formed a committee headed by the inspector general of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE).

Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told The Daily Star that the committee would sit on July 26 to find ways to resolve the issue.

He said the company owner died and the successor needed a succession certificate from the court to sell off assets and pay the workers. “It will take time. They (workers) should wait for at least for a month,” he said. The union announced continuing the sit-in and organising demonstrations in front of the DIFE headquarters and Islami Bank Bangladesh, Swan's lender.

Meanwhile, the World Federation of Trade Unions, based in Athens, expressed solidarity with the workers and urged the authorities to immediately clear arrears and bonus.


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