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Despite pay raise, RMG workers continue demo in Ashulia

  • Published at 12:13 pm January 14th, 2019
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Police seen chasing RMG workers during their demonstration in Ashulia on Monday; January 14, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The protesting workers rejected a revised salary structure on Monday

Despite a salary increase in six grades of their wage structure, apparel workers are continuing to protest in Ashulia. 

The workers also rejected a revised salary structure on Monday; a day after it was re-adjusted by a government-led committee.

About a thousand workers from five factories—in Ashulia industrial zone—took to the street and blocked the Abdullahpur-Baipayl highway at 8:30am Monday.

The garment workers gathered in Narshinghpur bus stand area, in great numbers, then police chased them from the streets around 9am. Even after being dispersed by police, many workers are still hiding in nearby alleyways waiting to return to the highway. 

Khadiza Begum, an agitating garment worker, said: “We have been told by the factory owner that we will not be paid our salaries—of the past seven to eight days—as we have participated in the ongoing demonstration. We demand our salary.

“We also reject the revised salary structure as the amount has been raised by very little in the revised one,” she said.

Dhaka 1 Ashulia Industrial Zone Superintendent of Police (SP) Sana Taminur Rahman said police have dispersed the gathering garment workers who tried to block the highway in the morning. 

Police on duty in Ashulia industrial zone on Monday; January 14, 2019 | Dhaka Tribune

“Additionally, we are using megaphones to tell the protesting workers to return to their respective workstations as the government has already revised their wage structure,” the SP said.

“There is no need for protest. Go back to home or to the workplace,” policemen were seen telling the protesting workers. 

Ready-made garment (RMG) workers have been protesting in different parts of Dhaka—including Mirpur, Ashulia and Gazipur—since January 6, over discrepancies in the new wage structure.

In wake of massive protests by the workers, a committee was formed on January 8 to review their wage structure.

After an over week-long protest, the Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, on Sunday, announced that the government-led committee had revised the garment workers’ wage structure.

The wages of garment workers under grades one, two, three, four, five, and six—out of a total seven grades—have been freshly adjusted.