Authorities of two readymade garment factories in Savar's Ashulia have laid off around 1,100 workers citing economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Authorities of Sigma Fashions Ltd in Ashulia's Tajpur area fired 709 workers this morning without any prior notice, reports our Savar correspondent quoting the claims of workers and leaders.
Apart from that, the factory has been declared shut from April 18 to May 31, during which none of the other remaining workers will be eligible for payment either.
A notice was hanged on the wall in front of Sigma Fashions in this regard this morning.
The notice reads that the company has stopped production after exports were shut due to coronavirus pandemic and all orders from international buyers were cancelled.
The workers of the factory also started to demonstrate after they learned of the notice.
Factory authorities allegedly told the sacked workers they would get paid their dues after the factory reopens.
"We cannot accept this dismissal. We want our jobs back," said Mamun, a sacked worker.
A local worker leader, Al Kamran, said garment factories should change this decision as workers will starve, given the present circumstances.
The Daily Star correspondent could not reach Sigma's Managing Director Mizanur Rahman despite repeated phone calls.
In Kobirpur area of Ashulia, nearly 400 workers of Aswad Composite Mills have claimed they were dismissed over the last couple of days, our Savar correspondent reports quoting both workers and worker leaders.
Seeking anonymity, a worker of Aswad Composite Mills said factory authorities asked him to collect 15 days' salary after he was informed of his dismissal.
However, director (operations) of Aswad Composite Mills Mahtab Uddin told The Daily Star that no worker has lost their job during this period.
He did say that some workers who were on probation might not get their jobs confirmed during this period and they called the workers to let them know of this over phone. The director (operations) also said the number of workers on probation were possibly between 30 to 40.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) of Dhaka Industrial Police-1 Jane Alam Khan said factory owners have been asked not to sack any workers especially during this situation.
However, police have received multiple complaints from workers and worker leaders of lay-offs.
Police are looking into the matter, Alam added.