70 hurt in cop-RMG worker clash in Gazipur, Savar
A policeman fires rubber bullets to the workers who engage in a clash with law enforcers at Konabari in Gazipur demanding for Tk 8,114 minimum wage. Photo: STAR
At least 70 people including ten policemen were injured as garment workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 minimum wage clashed with law enforcers in Gazipur and Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, today.
The authorities suspended production at 10 RMG units at Hemayetpur in Savar for today fearing vandalism, reports our correspondent.
On the other hand, the garment factory owners kept shutters of all RMG units in the Ashulia industrial belt down for today over security concerns following the continuous labour unrest in the last few days.
The workers of Islam Industrial Group started demonstration in front of the factory at Konabari when they came to work place in the morning and found the factory shut.
The clash ensued when the agitating workers hurled brick chips at police, prompting them to charge batons around 9:00am, said ASM Shamsur Rahman, assistant superintendent of Industrial Police in Gazipur.
Later, 10,000 workers of different adjacent factories joined the workers of Islam Industrial Group, triggering sporadic clashes with police.
Police later fired several rounds of rubber bullets and teargas canisters to bring the situation under control.
At least 50 people were injured in the clash, which was continuing till 10:30am when the report was filed.
Five policemen were among the injured persons, said the police official said.
The workers claimed that their demand for Tk 8,114 minimum wage could not be fulfilled due to the controversial role of the owner of Islam Industrial Group.
In the afternoon, a group of the agitating workers set fire to Standard Garment factory at Konabari.
Police charged baton and lobbed several teargas canisters to disperse the agitators.
On information firefighters rushed to the spot and doused the fire.
No causalities were reported in the incident.
At least 20 people including five policemen were injured as the RMG workers clashed with law enforcers at Hemayetpur in Savar demanding the same.
Later, the authorities suspended production of 10 RMG units for today to avoid further violence.
A labour unrest has erupted in the country’s apparel sector a few months back, seeking a revision of the workers’ minimum wage.
Meanwhile, the garment workers’ wage board on November 4 finalised its recommendation that Tk 5,300 should be the minimum salary.
The factory owners have rejected the proposed 76.66 percent hike in the minimum wage from the existing Tk 3,000.
Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar said on Monday that the wage board will finalise the salary structure on November 21.