50 units shut after worker-cop clash
Police take position on a road at Savar, outskirt area of Dhaka, after a clash with garment workers in the area Monday morning. Photo: TV grab
Production at minimum 50 garment factories in Savar and Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, was suspended for today after workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 minimum wage clashed with cops in the morning.
At least 50 workers were injured in the clashes at Jamgarah, Zirabo and Ghosbagh of Ashulia around 9:30am, witnesses and police said.
The clash, which later spread to Savar, was continuing till filing of this report around 11:30am, reports our Savar correspondent.
The district administration deployed two platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh personnel since 8:00am, fearing workers' demonstration, said Liakat Ali, executive magistrate of Savar.
There are a total of 350 garment factories in Savar and Ashulia.
Over 30,000 workers of different garment units went out of their respective factories located at Narasinghapur, Nishchintapur, Zirabo, Pukurpar, Jamgarah and Shimultala of Ashulia and, Hemayetpur, Ulail and Rajphulbaira of Savar and took to the streets around 9:30am, industrial police said.
As the agitating workers hurled brick chunks at law enforcers, the latter charged batons and fire several teargas canisters and rubber bullets, triggering sporadic clashes at Jamgara, Zirabo and Ghosbagh areas of Ashulia.
At least 50 people including Assistant Superintendent of Police (Savar Circle) Mohammad Rasel Sheikh were injured during clashes that were continuing till 11:30am when the report was filed.
Fearing more vandalism, the authorities of around 50 RMG units shut their production for today, former BGMEA President Abdus Salam Murshedi, also the convener of Ashulia-Savar Garment Owner Association, told The Daily Star.
The RMG units were declared shut due to workers' demonstration and their unwillingness to join work, said Abdus Sattar, deputy assistant director of Ashulia Industrial Police.
The country’s apparel sector has been witnessing a labour unrest since last several months this year seeking revision of the workers’ minimum wage.
Workers took to the streets in Dhaka and its outskirts demanding a minimum wage of Tk 8,114.
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.