Tuba workers block road to protest

Tuba Group workers, on a hunger strike for the past six days demanding their unpaid salaries, have taken to the streets.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 2 August 2014, 06:42 AM
Updated : 2 August 2014, 10:23 AM

Several other workers' associations have joined their protest.

The workers tried to block the road in front of their factory in Badda, on Bishwa Road, around 11am Saturday but were at once surrounded by policemen.

Our correspondent, who was at the spot, said a water cannon had been brought in and some 200 policemen had taken up position before the protest began in front of the commercial building, Hossain Market, which houses the factories.

One side of the road remained closed due to the protest.

Communist Party of Bangladesh President Mujahidul Islam Selim, who took part in the protests, said BGMEA, the apex body of the garment business, was planning to kill the protesting workers.

He warned the government that it would be held responsible if anything untoward were to happen.

Parul Begum, a worker of the group, said their movement was for a legitimate cause and they would persist with it until their demands were met.

The protesting workers reiterated their demands for an immediate payment of unpaid wages, keeping factories open, and compensation for workers taken ill during the protests.

Mujahidul Islam Selim demanded that the workers' wages be paid from the prime minister's fund.

The CPB chief said the government should take over the management of the Tuba Group’s factories.

The Group’s workers are on a hunger strike since July 28, the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr. Their agitation had begun some time earlier to press for overdue wages for the months of May, June and July.

BGMEA made several promises to ensure that the workers’ dues were met but did not deliver. The workers seem to have a pile of allegations against the apex body.

Parul Begum said when they went to the BGMEA building before Eid seeking steps for the release of their wages, the officials there apparently treated them insensitively.

A BGMEA leader said they had, on the government's advice, tried to sell off a factory floor, only to find it had been mortgaged to a bank.

Tazreen Fashions, a factory gutted in a blaze killing 112 workers in 2012 belonged to the Tuba Group. The group is owned by Delwar Hossain, who is currently in jail. But the High Court granted him bail on Thursday.

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