'Allocate funds for introducing rationing system for RMG workers'
Speakers at a discussion yesterday demanded the government allocate funds in the proposed budget for launching a rationing system for the garment workers.
They also demanded healthcare centres for the workers at Dhaka, Chittagong, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Savar and Ashulia and ensuring a worker-friendly atmosphere in the industrial areas.
The demands also include transport system for the workers and setting up colonies for them.
They were speaking at a discussion on 'The proposed budget and expectations of garment workers' organised by National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) auditorium.
Justice Golam Rabbani was present at the discussion as the chief guest while NGWF President Sayeeda Sarker chaired the programme.
Convener of National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Electricity and Port Engineer Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah, Prof Nasrin Khandker of Dhaka University, Abdul Mazid Mallik, former director of Karitas Training Institute, Subol Sarkar, president of Bangladesh Landless Association, and Amirul Huq Amin, general secretary of NGWF also spoke.
Justice Golam Rahman said, “The owners of the garment factories are cashing on the labours and efforts of the workers, but the workers had long been deprived. Many workers don't even get their due salaries. Some even behave with them as if the workers were their slaves. Struggle should continue to build a society where the workers themselves can set up garment factories on their own,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah said that the present government is a pro-capitalist one that doesn't pay heed to the demands of the working-class people.
Struggles should continue to realise their just demands, he added.
The NGWF leaders said that the government should have held pre-budget dialogues with the representatives of garment workers, as the government had sat with the leaders of FBCCI, BGMEA, BKMEA and other chambers of commerce and industries.
Criticising the budget speech delivered by the finance adviser, they said that the garment workers contribute to 76 percent of total exports, but the finance adviser in his address did not mention their contribution.