Shutdown at Ashulia | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 17, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 17, 2012

Shutdown at Ashulia

Frustrated garment exporters declare indefinite closure of factories; lament lack of security


A notice hangs on the gate of a garment factory in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital saying it is closed. Garment factory owners yesterday decided to keep their factories in Ashulia closed for an indefinite period due to workers' unrest. Photo: Palash Khan

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Garment factories in Ashulia will remain closed for an indefinite period from today due to the ongoing labour unrest there, owners announced yesterday.
The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, two apex platforms of the garment sector, jointly took the decision at a meeting at the BGMEA office in the capital.
After the meeting, BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin told a press briefing that they had decided to keep closed more than 300 factories in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, due to the labour unrest.
“We have become victims to a conspiracy. It is not possible to run factories without adequate security. Nevertheless, we have decided to shut down the units in Ashulia only, not in the whole country,” said Mohiuddin.
He urged the government to ensure security for garment factories as it is provided for key point installations.
The BGMEA president believes this unrest did not stem from the demand for salary hike. He said the unrest and vandalism in the factories were not the acts of regular workers. A few vested groups were trying to destroy the garment sector, as perhaps they were benefiting from the unrest, he alleged.
“We can hardly bear it any longer,” said Mohiuddin, urging all not to be confused by any propaganda.
He said it was the government's responsibility to find out the real culprits involved in vandalising the factories. He demanded the government punish the culprits to save the sector.
Most of the factories in Ashulia have kept their production suspended for the last six days due to the labour unrest.
Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of private think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue, said, “Closing factories through an announcement is unprecedented. All the stakeholders should immediately sit together to identify the actual reasons behind the unrest and solve those.

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