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RMG unrest aftermath

Over 11,000 workers lose job: IndustriAll

FE Report | February 13, 2019 00:00:00

At least 11,600 workers of 99 ready-made garment (RMG) factories have been fired for their alleged involvement in the recent labour unrest in the country, demanding due implementation of the wage structure and removing discrimination in it.

IndustriAll Bangladesh Council (IBC) came up with the information in a press conference in the city's National Press Club on Tuesday.

Besides, some 3,500 workers have been sued in 34 cases in Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur over the RMG sector unrest, and over a hundred of workers are in jail.

Furthermore, the workers are facing harassments by police and factory owners every day, the organisation alleged.

IBC demanded immediate restoration of the sacked workers at their respective factories and withdrawal of the cases, in which they are facing harassment. Besides, it also sought immediate release of the arrestees.

IBC General Secretary Salahuddin Shapan read out the written statement of the trade union at the press conference.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is developing a database of RMG workers, and it has already included information of 3.5 million workers in the database.

But, allegations of using the database against the workers' re-recruitment process have surfaced, which must be stopped, he added.

Besides, the owners are hanging photos of the terminated workers at factories, which is also creating untold sufferings for the workers.

The basic purpose behind these attempts is to restrain workers from being involved in trade unions, pointed IBC.

The owners, however, did not terminate the workers through fair trial, which is a violation of human rights and goes against the workers' rights as declared by International Labour Organization (ILO), it observed.

The latest termination of workers has crossed all the previous records in Bangladesh. If the harassments go on unabated, further protest might take place, it added.

IBC Chairman Md Giasuddin Ahmed urged the government, the garment owners and the authorities concerned to form a tripartite probe-body to look into these incidents and take necessary steps to bring a peaceful end to the problems to save the country's leading source of foreign currency.

IBC leader Nazma Akhter said the workers returned to their respective factories after a tripartite meeting among the government, the owners and the workers on January 13.

But harassments have not stopped even after the assurances (of not harassing) provided in the meeting, she noted.

Leaders and members of IBC, victim garment workers, and trade union leaders were also present in the press conference.

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