Dhaka-Sylhet Highway Blockade Withdrawn
Saturday, 14 August 2010

Workers of ACS Textile Limited, pressing for the implementation of the Tk 3000 minimum wage from August, removed their four and half hour blockade from the Dhaka-Sylhet highway at around 1pm on Saturday.

Rupganj police chief Forkan Shikder told bdnews24.com that the workers withdrew the blockade after fruitful discussions.

Earlier in the day, about 4000 workers of the factory blocked the highway, at Bhulta in Rupganj Upazila, Narayanganj.

The workers were also demanding to set their working hours at 8am to 5pm, and protesting the violent conduct of factory officials.

Police said the workers entered the factory at 8am and then started demonstrating instead of joining their work. It is also claimed that the workers vandalised the factory.

The protesting workers took up their position on the road from around 8.30am.

Shikder told bdnews24.com earlier that police were trying to convince the workers to unblock the road and trying to bring things under control to avert an unwanted situation.

Following continuous unrest by garments workers, labour minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain announced the new wage structure at a press briefing on July 29.

He also declared that the new wage structure would be implemented from Nov 1.

The new wages were stipulated at Tk 2,500 for apprentices, up from Tk 1,200 previously, while the minimum wage has been raised from Tk 1,662.50 to Tk 3,000.

Presidents of FBCCI, BGMEA and BKMEA, who were present at the press breifing, had promised to implement the structure from that time.

However, Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik Jote, Garments Sramik Jote and Garments Sramik Oikya Parisad had rejected the new wage scale and had asked the government for reconsideration.

Later, garments workers demonstrated at Dhaka, Savar and Narayanganj in demand of reforming the wage structure and employing the wage structure from August.

Source: bdnews24.com

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