BJMC ' yes to workers' demands
Monday, 28 January 2008

Our Correspondent

The Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation has agreed to clear the layoff benefits of workers and pledged to arrange fund for reopening a jute mill shut down in September last year.

The assurances came Saturday at a meeting among BJMC officials, local administration, law enforcers, project heads and collective bargaining agent leaders of all the seven mills of the Khulna-Jessore region.

BJMC arranged the meeting at their Khulna regional office at Khalishpur Industrial belt in the face of continuous movements by jute workers, demanding job regularisation, payment of layoff and retirement benefits, and reopening of jute mills.

Jute ministry joint secretary Hares Choudhury, BJMC director (accounts and finance) Mosharraf Hossain and BJMC director (research and quality control) Mohammad Hossain Choudhury responded to various demands of the labour leaders at the meeting, joined by project heads, trade union leaders of all seven jute mills of the zone and representatives from law enforcing agencies.

Meeting sources said BJMC officials assured that the retired and laid-off labourers would get their dues soon. The jute officials would report back to the government on the latest situation of the jute mills and recommend measures to end the long-standing disputes of workers and run the jute mills viably.

They also assured that the same rule would be followed for irregular labourers in all jute mills of the country. The BJMC officials responded positively to the demand from Alim Jute Mills administration for Tk 5 crore to open the mill by paying a part of the dues to the labourers, said sources present at the meeting.

Regular and retired labourers have been demanding payment of their dues, while the daily basis workers stopped work from January 1 to press their six-point demands, including payment of dues and job regularisation.

Besides, laid-off workers of Alim Jute Mills are agitating for reopening of the factory and payment of their dues.

The state-run jute mill was shut down on September 22 without making any payment to most of the laid-off workers, who have been passing their days in utter miseries along with families for months.

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