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State-owned jute mill workers go on symbolic hunger strike

  • Published at 09:34 am November 27th, 2019
jute mil-khulna
Jute mill workers observe symbolic hunger strike in Khulna on Wednesday November 27, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The workers are holding protests to press home their 11-point demands

Workers of nine state-owned jute mills in Khulna and Jessore have begun their symbolic hunger strike. 

The protest began around 8am on Wednesday, with the workers taking positions in front of the main gates of the jute mills that they are employed in. The protest will continue until 5pm.

Md Murad Hossain, convener of Jute Mills Sramik League (Khulna, Jessore region), said: "This workers' movement mainly began with workers demanding the implementation of national wage commission. 

Jute mill workers protest in Khulna on November 27, 2019 | Dhaka Tribune“But, somehow, the authorities managed to assuage the protesters and thus stop the protest by settling their outstanding wages.

He added: "However, this time, the workers would not cease the protest at any cost because most of us are outraged with the fact that the national wage commission has not been implemented in five years."

He, therefore, said they began this symbolic hunger strike as part of the demonstration and will continue to protest until the wage commission is implemented.

On November 25, the workers went on a hunger strike for the first time. Jute mill workers in Khulna and Jessore held demonstrations by blocking roads and highways to press home their demands.

File Photo: A worker piles his trade at a jute mill factory in Khulna on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 | Dhaka Tribune

The demands included implementation of the national wage commission, repeal of public-private partnership (PPP) and payment of gratuities to retired workers and staff of the factories.

The workers announced the outline of their protest program on November 23. According to their program, they will hold a procession and strike on December 2 and 3, respectively. 

The jute mill workers are also scheduled to hold a rally on December 8, and planned to go on a hunger strike on December 10, by staging a sit-in protest in front of the main gates of the mills they work for.