• Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:51 pm

RMG workers call off strike in Mirpur

  • Published at 12:49 pm January 12th, 2019
Police attempt to stop the demonstrating readymade garment factory workers on the road in front of Government Bangla College in Mirpur, Dhaka on Saturday, January 12, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

They started their demonstrations from 10:30am

Ready-made garment (RMG) workers have called off their demonstrations in different parts of Mirpur in Dhaka including Mirpur 1, Mirpur 13, Mirpur 14, Kazipara, Shewrapara, and the area around Mirpur Bangla College.

Around 3,000-4,000 workers started their protests for the sixth day from 10:30am on Saturday, demanding changes in the newly-announced wage structure.

Police dispersed workers from Mirpur 1, Mirpur 13, Mirpur 14, Kazipara and Sawrapara around 2pm, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP)'s Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC-Mirpur) Shahen Shah Mahmud confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune.

"We managed to get the situation under control after holding discussions with the workers," Shahen Shah said. "The traffic situation has returned back to normal."

In Mirpur 13, RMG workers from three garment industries: Rishal Garments, Dreamswear Ltd and Saroj Garments took to the streets around 10:30am to voice their demands. Besides blocking the road, they also vandalized several vehicles. 

Meanwhile, Darus Salam police station Inspector (investigation) Faruqul Alam said the workers from the area around Mirpur Bangla College removed their blockades after owners reassured them of meeting their demands at 2pm. 

Also Read-  RMG workers call off strike in Mirpur after owners' reassurances

Workers from Mirpur Bangla College area claimed they started their protests after two workers from two different garments were beaten by the authorities, when they went to place their demands. 

Around 11am, workers from other garments joined and blocked the road.

The workers also vandalized a few vehicles in several areas where the protests were being held.

Readymade garment factory workers demonstrate by blocking the road in front of Government Bangla College in Mirpur, Dhaka on January 12, 2019 | Dhaka Tribune

A huge tailback was created due to the protests in all these areas; a bus carrying BPL team members was also caught in the traffic. However, police later helped the bus veer towards the stadium.

DMP chief: Action if third party involved

Meanwhile, DMP Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Mia on Saturday said that police would take stern action if any third party tries to influence the workers or take advantage of their protests. 

"Workers only demonstrated in a few areas; in most of the areas, nothing happened," he told reporters after an event in Mirpur around 12pm.

"We will investigate whether any individual or parties are trying to use the protests to their own ends." 

Legal actions would be taken against such parties if found, he said. 

Asaduzzaman added the government was sincere in providing a solution for the ongoing crisis. "We hope the issues will be resolved within a day or two."

RMG workers had been protesting in different parts of Mirpur, different parts of Dhaka, Savar and Gazipur from January 6 till Thursday.

Earlier, in the Kalshi and Shewrapara areas of Mirpur, workers called off their strike and removed blockades, upon receiving assurances from the owners of meeting their demands on Thursday. 

What are the workers' demands?

The workers took to the streets in protest against the discrepancies of the newly-announced wage structure.  

They started their demonstrations claiming that authorities have been delaying the implementation of their demands for the past two months.