Around 100 workers of a ready-made garment (RMG) factory in Chittagong blocked a road in the city’s Majhirghat area yesterday in protest of the factory authorities’ decision to shut it down.
Led by the leaders of local trade unions including Bangladesh Independent Garment Union Parishad, the workers of Valiant Garments Ltd put up the road block in Majhirghat, which falls under the jurisdiction of Sadarghat police station, around 9am, demanding to resume the factory’s operations by Sunday, police said.
Acting on information, two platoons of Industrial Police rushed to the spot and dispersed the protesters around 9:30am, said Inspector Arifur Rahman of Industrial Police in Chittagong.
Around 900 workers worked at the RMG factory, which comprises three separate buildings, the inspector said.
The decision to shut down the factory came after visits by Accord and Alliance, two separate associations of buyers from European Union and North American countries, respectively.
The visiting teams declared the factory buildings risky and instructed the authorities to move the factory to a safer location within July 20, acting upon which the authorities shut the factory down on July 18, Arif said.
The authorities also advised the workers to take jobs in other factories under the company, Valiant Groups, which owned the RMG factory, but they can choose to leave their jobs and take their due payment as per the provisions of law.
But the workers rejected the authorities’ suggestions and started demonstrating.
Later, the workers and the factory authorities sat down in a meeting to find solutions, the Industrial Police inspector said.