Day labourers in the district are facing severe hardship as they cannot go out to work due to cold biting and fog in the morning.
They go out from their homes when the fog lifts and the sun appears after 10:00am, but most of them cannot find any work at that time.
“We suffer due to the bitter cold in the morning and lose our energy to go out to look for work,” said Sanuddin Miah, 48, a day labourer of Uttar Saptana village under Sadar upazila. “We cannot get jobs after 10:00am as farmers say the time limit is over,” he said, adding that some labourers get work in the morning by tolerating the biting cold.
“As we are not able to work early in the morning due to cold wave, we become jobless because we are not hired later,” said another day labourer Bakkar Miah, 44, of the village. “We are now doing contract basis job,” he said. In contract basis job, labourers are paid according to the number of hours they work, which depends on their willingness, he added.
Nur Islam, 45, president of Dinmajur Ekota Samity in Chandrapur village under Kaliganj upazila, said local farm owners generally want to hire day labourers for working from 8:00am to 5:00pm but, due to the cold wave, that is not possible, so farm owners are not showing interest in hiring day labourers.
“Due to the cold wave, we are able to work for six to seven hours a day, which is not suitable for farm owners,” he said, adding that most day labourers do not have warm clothes as they cannot afford to buy those.
Farmer Delowar Hossain, 55, of the village told this correspondent that they are not interested in hiring day labourers on daily wage basis, but they are given job on contract basis. “A day labourer is given Tk 300-350 as wage for working eight to nine hours a day,” he added.