Legitimate demands of the workers should be addressed
Saturday, 06 September 2008

RMG sector

RMG sector is once again hit by workers unrest. In the second eruption of violence in just 48 hours, the workers of Diganta Sweaters Ltd in Gazipur on Tuesday went on the rampage disrupting traffic movement on the Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways. In the violent incidents about 50 persons including the OC of Tongi Sadar Thana were injured. This time the RMG workers ransacked 10 garments factories and Police had to fire nearly 100 rounds of blank shots to disperse them. The trouble began in the morning when the workers of Diganta Sweaters reaching their factory for work became agitated following a rumour that three of their fellow-workers were found dead in the bathroom and started ransacking the nearby garments factories. The previous violence had sparked off when there was another rumour that a female worker has died inside the bathroom of the same factory. On Wednesday when police were trying to persuade the workers for restraint, hundreds of others from the nearby factories rushed to the road and went on the rampage. Meanwhile, the home ministry on Wednesday directed the law enforcers to check any slide in law and order, and tackle unrest in readymade garment sector with an iron hand. The government directive is a timely and necessary measure as violence and unrest in the RMG sector have exceeded tolerable level and the BGMEA also has sought government protection to keep the industry running. In fact, stern action has been long overdue to restore peace and order in the vital RMG sector. It must be said that violent action by the workers on the basis of rumours and without verifying them is unacceptable and should be condemned and seriously dealt with. However, on some occasions there may be some valid grounds for the workers' discontent and agitation and if so those should be addressed sympathetically. The workers should be guided by reasoning and not by emotion or fall in the traps of those who want the RMG sector of Bangladesh to be ruined.

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