Ashulia RMG units to shut tomorrow | The Daily Star
07:21 PM, November 12, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:54 PM, November 12, 2013

Ashulia RMG units to shut tomorrow

Owners have declared shutdown of garment factories in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital for tomorrow due to security concerns.

"We have decided to shut our factories in Ashulia area for a day," said Abdus Salam Murshedy, convenor of Ashulia zone after a meeting of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at its office today.

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Law enforcers disperse the readymade garments workers at Ashulia Law enforcers disperse the agitating readymade garments workers during a clash between the both sides at Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, this morning demanding Tk 8,114 minimum monthly wage. Photo: Focus Bangla

The decision came amid days of clashes by garment workers demanding Tk 8,114 minimum monthly wage.

There are some 250 garment units in Ashulia, the major outsourcing area for the world's renowned apparel brands. Locally big manufacturers also have their units in the region.

"We are continuing our discussions with labour associations how to remain the factories open," Murshedy said adding that the zonal committee on Ashulia will sit tomorrow to decide on the next plan of action.

Meanwhile, production at around 200 garment factories in Ashulia was suspended for today after the workers clashed with police in the morning.

At least 50 workers were injured during sporadic clashes which took place at Jamgara, Jirani, Kabirpur, Baipail, Palash Bari, Narashinghapur, Nishchintapur, Ghoshbagh, Pukurpar and Kathgara areas, witnesses said.

The RMG workers also staged demonstration in Ashulia yesterday and Saturday to press home their demand. More than 100 people including policemen were injured during the two days’ clashes, which forced several RMG units to shut production.

A labour unrest has erupted in the country’s apparel sector since last several months this year seeking 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 for workers.

Factory owners, who are board members, however, rejected the proposed 76.66 percent minimum salary hike from the existing Tk 3,000.

The board fixed Tk 3,200 as basic pay, Tk 1,280 house rent, and Tk 320 medical allowance. It also included Tk 200 transport allowance and Tk 300 as food subsidies, said judge AK Roy, chairman of the six-member wage board.

Failing to reach a consensus on the minimum salary thrice before, the board in its ninth meeting went for a vote on the same day and the recommendation was passed 4-0, with factory owners in the board refraining from voting.

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