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Dhaka Tribune

Retired workers of state-run jute mills demand pensions

Workers have been waiting for their dues for the last eight years
Update : 30 Dec 2021, 03:37 PM

As many as 2,500 workers of the state-run jute mills on Tuesday demanded pensions that they have been deprived of for nearly a decade.

The retired workers said they have been deprived of gratuity, a provident fund, and pensions since July 2013, pushing them towards a life of poverty. 

“Today, the per capita income of every citizen of our country is $2,550, but we are still waiting for our legal rights," said Md Jahangir Hossain, the president of a forum of retired jute-mill staff members and employees. 

He made the remarks during a media call at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

He said they have been waiting eight years despite there being a rule to clear all dues within 30 working days of retirement, and demanded that all the dues be paid as soon as possible. 

According to him, nearly 250 employees and 80 nominees died in the last eight years without receiving any of their dues.

They died without any kind of treatment and many died without food because they could not afford it, he said. 

"Now we are taking out loans from banks and paying hefty interests on them. We gave up two-thirds of our lives for the jute mills, but what have we received from the state?" Jahangir asked. 

In July 2020, the government shut down 25 state-run jute mills and gradually sent 25,000 workers into early voluntary retirement. 

However, Jahangir claimed there are still 3,000 employees of the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) who are getting Tk200 crore in each year for no reason.

This forum also claimed that the BJMC still has around Tk500-600 crore in their fund, which is more than double their debt.

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