• Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019
  • Last Update : 10:38 am

Jute mill workers’ 6-hour strike begins on Wednesday

  • Published at 06:00 pm May 19th, 2019
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File photo: Jute mill workers protesting in Jatrabari, Dhaka on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The workers will continue their 3 hours of daily protest for the16th day on Tuesday

The ongoing daily three hours of protest by state-owned jute mill workers will be extended from Wednesday. They will protest for six hours every day from 8am to 2pm, excluding breaks.

Confirming the matter, Md Khalilur Rahman, joint secretary of Jute Mill CBA and Non CBA Unity Council (JMCNUC) and also platinum CBA president, said: “The decision was taken at a meeting with both Khulna and Jessore JMCNUC and leaders of jute mill Shramik League.”

The meeting took place at Crescent Union office from 10am to 12pm on Sunday, with Crescent CBA President Md Murad Hossain presiding.

On Saturday afternoon, Khulna Deputy Commissioner Md Helal Hossain went to the intersection where the protest was taking place and requested the workers to suspend the strike, promising to fulfill their demands. That incident prompted Sunday’s meeting.

Meanwhile, from 6am on Sunday, the workers continued protesting for the 14th day, rather than going to work. Later, around 4pm, they planned to march  onto the street and continue their three-hour long protest.

What brought jute mill workers to the streets?

Jute mill workers have been protesting since March 13 to press home their nine-point demand that includes: their salaries and allowances be paid, the wage commission be implemented, sufficient funds be allocated for the jute sector, sacked workers be reappointed, and appointments be made permanent.

The workers' wages have been due for the past 11 weeks, while salaries of other employees' are four months overdue.

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

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

At the meeting, the participants agreed that 10 weeks’ wages and three months’ salaries of all  the mill workers would be paid by April 25.

When BJMC failed to pay the dues by April 25, workers in 26 state-owned jute mills became agitated.

The state minister had met the workers’ leaders and asked for a week to resolve the matter.

However, the promise was not fulfilled, prompting the workers to take to the streets.

On May 7, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour and Employment asked the Labour and Employment Ministry to take necessary measures to give out wage slips to the mill workers from May 18. The committee also ordered that their wages be fixed by May 17.