Several thousand workers, mostly women, of Hong Kong-based wig factory Evergreen BD Ltd in Nilphamari's Uttara EPZ, set fire to the factory and other infrastructures today protesting the "long-time oppressive measures" of the factory authority.
Protesting workers alleged to journalists that the authority would terminate the workers whenever they wanted. They also said that they sacked workers who had attained seniority and were entitled to higher salaries were instead reappointed at a lower wage grade as apprentice with low salary. They were, however, made to do the job of senior workers.
A number of female workers alleged that in most cases they were denied maternal leave as per labour law and pregnant women were forced to do hard work.
As their complaints went unheeded, the workers began their protest, ransacking the factory buildings, office rooms, chemical godown and other areas. At one stage, they set fire to some of the rooms.
During the agitation, several high officials of the factory were also assaulted, witnesses claimed.
Being informed, deputy commissioner, police officials and political leaders reached the spot.
The workers finally left the spot in the afternoon.
Fire brigade vehicles from adjacent districts, along with those of the EPZ, worked for several hours to put out of the fires.
Deputy General Manager of Evergreen BD Ltd Md Ferdous alleged to journalists that the incident was preplanned by a vested quarter.
General Manager of Uttara EPZ Mohammad Anamul Haque said that they would investigate the matter, adding that the workers hadn't approached him with their problems and the way they protested "was unacceptable".