The ongoing protest by jute mill workers in Khulna turned aggressive on Sunday as they brought out a stick procession in the city on the 22nd day of protest.
The workers have been abstaining from work and staging demonstration for more than three weeks to press home their 11-point demand including full payment of overdue wages.
On Sunday, the agitated workers of six jute mills in Khalishpur, Atara and Jessore areas in Khulna gathered in front of their mills around 10am and began their march carrying sticks, demanding resignation of State Minister for Jute and Textiles Mirza Azam and Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) Chairman Md Mahmudul Hassan.
The protesters marched through the important industrial thoroughfares of the city before ending the march back at their respective mills.
Later, Bangladesh State-Owned Jute Mill CBA-Non CBA Oikya Parishad Convener Sohrab Hossain, Joint Convener Kawsar Ali, and other labour leaders addressed a rally of the protesters.
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Sohrab announced the upcoming programs for the protest, which include hunger procession on January 24, press meet on January 25, rally at 3pm on January 26, 48-hour hartal and protest march in Khulna starting from January 28, and highway-railway blockade from 8am to 12pm on January 31.
He warned that if their demands were not met by January 31, the central committee of the workers' association would meet in Dhaka on January 4 and announce the next protest program.
Demanding full payment of their dues, the workers of Crescent, Platinum, Doulatpur, Star, Eastern, Alim and JJI jute mills started abstention from work on December 28, 2017, followed by the workers of Khalishpur Jute Mill who began their protest on December 30.
Among the protesters, workers of Doulatpur and Khalishpur jute mills went back to work after receiving partial payment of their wages.
The workers of the other six mills continued their protest, pressing home their 11-point demand.