• Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:11 am

Khulna jute mills workers halt production, demanding dues

  • Published at 11:22 am May 6th, 2019
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Angry workers set fire to car tyres and block vehicular movement at the BIDC road, Khulna during a protest on Sunday, May 5, 2019 File photo/Dhaka Tribune

Workers halted production in at least nine factories

Jute mill workers in Khulna have started fresh protests due to their outstanding wages remaining uncompensated.

The protest began anew on Sunday. Jute mill workers shut down production at several mills including four state-owned mills.

Workers halt production

On Sunday morning, the jute mill workers started the protest. Platinum and Star Jute Mill workers started the demonstration.

Around 2pm, Star Jute Mill workers refused to join work and took position at the front gate of the mill. They halted production, demanding their due payments.

More jute mill workers halted production at other factories to support the protest.

Around 6pm, Platinum Jute Mill workers also halted production. The protesting workers blocked vehicular movement at the BIDC road. The angry protestors set fire to car tyres.

Crescent and Doularpur Jute Mill workers also halted production at their factories around 8:15pm.

Subsequently around 9pm, workers at Khalishpur, Alim, Eastern, JJI, and Carpeting Jute Mills all halted production.

Assembly held

A workers assembly was held in front of Star Jute Mill around 5pm. The workers wanted to press home their nine-point demand.

Md Murad Hossain presided over the assembly. Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) General Secretary Md Shohrab Hossain, MM Azam, Md Bacchu Mia, Zahid Hossain Jahangir and Omar Faruque spoke at the event.

Jute mill worker Abul Kashem said: “Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) promised us that the matter would be resolved. Ramadan is only a day away. We are working without pay in exceedingly difficult conditions.”

Star Jute Mill worker Kalam said: “We want Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to help us. The past three months have been extremely difficult for us and our families.”

Khalilur Rahman, a workers’ leader, said: “A meeting between CBA and non-CBA personnel is scheduled to be held on Monday around 11am. The next step will be determined at the meeting.”

On April 15, the Jute Mills Workers League called for a four-hour road and railway blockade program and 96-hour strike to press home their nine-point demand, which includes clearing the payment of outstanding wages for all jute mill workers.

Jute Mills Workers League, CBA and non-CBA leaders had a meeting with State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian.

It was decided at the meeting that ten weeks’ wages and three months’ salary of all jute mill workers would be paid by April 25.

When BJMC failed to pay the workers by April 25, workers across 26 state-owned jute mills became aggravated.

State Minister Begum Monnujan Sufian has met the workers’ leaders and asked for a week to resolve the matter.