Workers block Dhaka-Gazipur Road, preventing movement of hundreds of vehicles
At least six people, including a policeman, were injured in a clash between the law enforcers and the agitating workers of Style Craft Garment and in Gazipur on Sunday.
The workers have been observing daylong strikes on the Dhaka-Gazipur Road every day since July 6 demanding outstanding payments, according to Inspector Sameer Chandra Sutradhar of Gazipur Industrial Police.
The road was closed to traffic on Sunday as well, and hundreds of vehicles, including ambulances, were stuck on both sides of the road, he said.
Industrial Police Inspector Islam Hossain said that after blockading the road for around eight hours, the workers marched towards Chandana Chowrasta around 4:30pm to block Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail highways.
When police tried to stop them, a clash erupted as the workers started throwing brickbats at them, leaving several people including a constable injured, he claimed.
At one stage, police fired 20 rounds of tear gas shells and 16 rounds of sound grenades to disperse the protesters and brought the situation under control by 5:30pm, Inspector Islam added.
Stating that additional forces were deployed in the area, Gazipur Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Zakir Hossain said: “The factory authorities are in talks with the BGMEA in Dhaka over the workers’ salaries. We expect that the things will be resolved soon.”
According to the workers, they have yet to receive the full salaries for March, May and June of the current year and September last year, 50% of salaries for March and August of last year and December 2019, 35% for October 2020 and 15% for November, on top of two years’ Eid bonuses.
The factory authorities have promised to pay the workers on multiple occasions but went back on their word each time.
During Saturday’s protests, the workers vowed to continue their demonstrations until their demands were met.