Fresh worker protests over unmet demands
Hundreds of workers of Utah Fashions blocked Gulshan Link Road in Dhaka in the morning, protesting the shutdown of their factory with no prior notice.
Five workers were hurt and three were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for treatment after police charged batons and fired rubber bullets to disperse the agitated workers.
“They vandalised the windowpanes of several nearby factories in the area,” said Moniruzzaman, officer-in-charge of Tejgaon Industrial Police.
Later, they were joined by workers of some other factories and together, they demonstrated in front of the Utah gate.
“As the crowds became rowdy, police fired around 30 rounds of rubber bullets,” said Biplob Kumar Sarker, a deputy commissioner of police.
Though the situation came under control around 9:30am, some workers blocked one side of the road in Tejgaon.
Later, Sarker assured the workers of a meeting with the garment authorities regarding the workers' demands.
In Gazipur, workers of the Uni Gears garment factory began demonstrations at around 7:45am, demanding an attendance bonus hike and introduction of lunch bill.
Later, they took to the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Gazipur and vandalised the windshields of some vehicles and halted vehicular movements for around an hour.
As the workers became rowdy and hurled brick chips, police fired several rounds of teargas shells and rubber bullets, said Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of police in Gazipur.
Around 9 am, road communications became normal.
The apparel workers on Saturday observed a work abstention to press home several demands, including an attendance bonus hike from Tk 400 to Tk 600.
The authority kept the factory shut from Saturday afternoon to Sunday to discuss the matter with the managing director of the factory, said Md Selim Khan, sub-inspector of the Gazipur Industrial Police.
As the matter remained unresolved till yesterday morning, workers began demonstrating again, he added.