RMG workers, cops clash: 20 injured
At least 20 people including five policemen were injured in a clash between agitating workers of a garment factory and law enforcers in the capital's Shewrapara area yesterday morning over termination of some workers by the factory authorities.
Incensed, workers of SQ Sweaters Limited vandalised about 20 vehicles on Begum Rokeya Sarani, said witnesses.
Transport movement on the road came to a halt for one and a half hours till 10:00am. Commuters suffered due to a huge traffic jam in the area even after hours following the incident.
According to witnesses, about 1,000 garment workers blocked the road around 8:30am demanding withdrawal of termination orders against some of their colleagues.
Police asked them to leave the spot but the disgruntled workers pelted law enforcers with brick bats, said Kazi Wazed Ali, officer-in-charge of Mirpur Police Station.
They charged truncheons, fired teargas and used water cannons to disperse the protesting workers. Kafrul and Mirpur police picked up at least 10 workers.
Factory workers claimed the authorities sacked about 60 workers on May 29 and 78 more the following day as they staged demonstration for increasing the piece rate fixed for each item.
The unit was shut down indefinitely on June 1.
A tripartite meeting between the management, workers and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) was held on Sunday, but it failed to reach a solution.
The authorities opened the factory on Tuesday. But they again sacked some workers yesterday which triggered the protest, noted the workers.
Contacted, Chairman and Managing Director of SQ Group Ghulam Faruque said he declared the factory closed yesterday morning as a group of workers attacked some senior officials to realise their demands.
The management has agreed with most of their demands, excepting termination of a few senior officials, which is quite impossible, he told The Daily Star.