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GSK employees claim the closure of factories is a conspiracy

  • Published at 01:13 am August 2nd, 2018
GSK employees protesting the closure of the factory in Chittagong Dhaka Tribune
GSK employees protesting the closure of the factory in Chittagong Dhaka Tribune

The company staff under the banner of “GlaxoSmithKline Employees Union” made the demand after holding a press conference at Chittagong Press Club on Wednesday

Employees of  GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Chittagong are demanding the reopening of their office immediately, calling the closure a conspiracy.  

The company staff under the banner of “GlaxoSmithKline Employees Union” made the demand after holding a press conference at Chittagong Press Club yesterday, also demanding the intervention of the prime minister and the concerned ministry. 

One of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, GSK has decided to close its medicine-manufacturing unit in Bangladesh after over 60 years of operation in Bangladesh. 

Reading out a written statement at the press conference, the platform’s secretary Md Azam said:  “There is no apparent reason to close a profit-making business. The company cannot take the decision to shut the unit unilaterally, keeping the government in the dark since it is involved with different government financial entities,” adding that the abrupt decision of closure would hit the 1000 permanent and 400 casual workers of the company very hard. 

The government will be deprived of a huge amount of VAT and tax with the closure of the factory.  The people of the country will be deprived of quality pharmaceutical products and dividends of government shares, the platform said. 

Refuting the claim that GSK has been making a loss, the labour leader said: “The factory made a profit of Tk66 crore last year. The company gave Tk55 as dividend against each share of Tk10 and paid Tk199.44 crore to the government as VAT and tax. From 2013 to 2017, the company has made a net profit of Tk351.79 crore and gave around Tk1000 crore to the government exchequer.”

Safar Ali, joint secretary of Jatiya Sramik League, Tapan Dutt, Chittagong chapter president of Bangladesh Trade Union Federation (TUF), the union’s president, Mohammed Elias, vice-president Kamal Uddin, and assistant secretary Md Ibrahim,, were present, among others at the press conference.