• Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:17 pm

Over 100 apparel workers suspended for 'illegal strikes' and vandalism

  • Published at 10:55 pm January 15th, 2019
A-R-Jeans-Producers
AR Jeans Producers Ltd and FGS Fashion Ltd temporarily suspend over 100 apparel workers on Tuesday Dhaka Tribune

Authorities of both factories posted the names and pictures of the temporarily suspended workers on a notice board in front of the factories on Tuesday

The management of AR Jeans Producers Limited and FGS Fashion Limited, owned by a single owner, have temporarily suspended over 100 apparel workers, alleging them of holding illegal strikes in their factories over the new wage structure.

Authorities of both factories posted the names and pictures of the temporarily suspended workers on a notice board in front of the factories on Tuesday, citing "illegal strikes" as the reason for their temporary suspension.

Apparel workers began staging demonstrations from January 8 to 14, demanding to revise the wage structure of ready-made garment (RMG) sector workers.

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Md Nazmul Kabir, managing director and owner of the factories, said: “As per the labour law, over 100 apparel workers of AR Jeans Producers Limited and FGS Fashion Limited have been temporarily suspended as they staged illegal strikes and vandalized factories.

"Show cause notices have been served to the apparel workers in accordance with the law. Based on their response to notices and findings of investigation, legal actions will be taken against the guilty workers," Nazmul added.

The managing director furthered that there are no trade unions in these two factories, adding that he has no objection about the formation of a union if it is done in accordance with the existing laws and the proposed union fairly works for apparel workers' rights. 

However, the accused workers claimed that they did not participate in any demonstrations and were not involved in the vandalism of either factory. 

One of the suspended workers said that the allegations against them were false.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters  Association (BGMEA) said it would look into the issue and investigate the allegations from of owners and workers. 

In addition, there are allegations from trade union leaders that over 300 apparel workers were fired in different other factories over the recent unrest. 

Meanwhile, a number of workers at different other factories alleged that the owners have filed cases against them and members of law enforcement are trying to arrest them. 

"To avert arrest and police harassment, we are staying out of our homes," said one apparel worker in Savar, requesting anonymity. 

“It is good that the unrest finally calmed down and workers have returned to work. But the workers are facing police cases. Many factory owners in different factories have sacked a good number of workers in Savar and Gazipur,” said Kazi Ruhul Amin,  executive president of Garment Workers' Trade Union Centre. 

“We did not yet get any complaints from the workers or owners,” said BGMEA Vice President Mohammed Nasir. “But the BGMEA will look into the allegations.” 

An employer can terminate workers as per the law by providing compensation and all lawful benefits. But at this moment, it is better to refrain from termination, said the BGMEA leader.  

On September 13, 2018 the Bangladesh government set Tk8,000 as the minimum monthly wage, with Tk4,100 as basic salary, for the country’s apparel workers.

Later on Sunday, in face of continued apparel workers’ protest, Bangladesh government revised the wage structure again.