RMG workers go on rampage | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 13, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 13, 2010

RMG workers go on rampage

Vandalise 4 factories for pay hike, 50 hurt in clash at Savar

Hundreds of garment workers went berserk at Kalma in Savar, Dhaka, yesterday vandalising and looting four factories. Their attack and subsequent clash with law enforcers left 50 people including policemen and factory officials injured.
Following the incident, production at 15 garment factories in the area was suspended.
Witnesses said 2,300 employees of a sweater unit of Navana Textiles Ltd around 9:30am attacked and looted Century Design and Fashion Pvt Ltd, Synergy Design and Fashion Pvt Ltd, Hot Dress Ltd and New Horizon Bd Ltd.
The workers at Navana were agitating since Thursday to press home their 15-point demand, including pay hike and house rent, police and locals said.
The unruly workers wounded at least 10 officials and employees of the four factories. Five policemen and 35 attackers were injured during the clash with police between 10:00am and 11:00am.
They said Navana workers were demonstrating inside the factory when they learnt that machines of this unit were being dismantled and moved to another unit.
Local said around 100 alleged hired goons of the factory authorities then forced the agitating workers outside the factory. The workers then started demonstration in front of the factory.
They brought out a procession, put barricade on CNB-Ashulia road at Kalma, damaged several vehicles and later attacked the four nearby garment factories.
Police rushed to the spot and resorted to truncheon charging to disperse the workers who retaliated with brickbats forcing law enforcers to fire at least 24 rubber bullets.
Chases and counter chases took place between police and workers.
Savar Police Station Officer-in-Charge AKM Nasirullah told The Daily Star that the employees of Navana went wild following hesitation of factory authorities to meet their demands. He said no case was filed and none was arrested in this connection.
Century Design and Fashion Pvt Ltd General Manager Meenhazul Islam Khan, also the GM of Synergy Design and Fashion Pvt Ltd, told The Daily Star, "My units were attacked by several hundred workers of Navana Textiles who also looted valuables. I was wounded when I tried to stop them."
He said, "The attackers first demanded that my employees be let out to join their demonstration. When we opened our gate, they stormed in and started looting and vandalising."
Assistant General Manager Nurul Amin of Century Design and Fashion Pvt Ltd said at least 10 of their officials and employees were injured in the attack and they are yet to make an estimate of the loss.
Navana Textiles Deputy General Manager (production) Zamal Uddin denied the allegation of ousting the agitating workers with hired people. He claimed that a section of workers carried out the attack in a planned way to create unrest.
He said the demands of the workers were illogical and impossible to fulfil.
Garments Sramik Trade Union Kendra leaders claimed that goons hired by Navana Textiles Ltd attacked the workers who staged demonstration in favour of their demands. They said the goons ransacked the neighbouring factories.
In a statement, Garments Sramik Trade Union Kendra adviser Montu Ghosh, president Idris Ali and general secretary KM Ruhul Amin blamed the factory authorities' behaviour for the violence.

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