Garment workers in Gazipur resume protests for wage hike

The disgruntled workers have rejected the minimum wage announced by the government

Published : 9 Nov 2023, 07:50 AM
Updated : 9 Nov 2023, 07:50 AM

Workers from garment factories in Gazipur have once again launched protests against the minimum wage set by the wage board, triggering clashes with the police on the Dhaka-Tangail highway.

On Thursday, the disgruntled workers began demonstrating in the Naozor and Chandana areas of Gazipur city, blocking the highway with wood and tree stumps. Subsequently, the police deployed tear gas to disperse the protesters and restore order.

The workers have long been demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk 23,000. Despite the government's announcement of a 56 percent wage increase to Tk 12,500 on Tuesday, the workers from various factories in Gazipur continued their protests the next day, rejecting the proposed wage.

Wednesday's protests resulted in clashes with the police, leading to injuries and the death of a female worker. Another worker is currently receiving treatment for gunshot wounds.

Following the clashes, some factories declared a holiday, yet protests persisted in various industrial areas of Gazipur throughout Wednesday, resulting in five police officers suffering injuries while attempting to control the situation.

Workers resumed their strike on Thursday morning, blocking the road at Chandana Chowrasta-Shibbari. Police intervened, clearing the road and restoring traffic flow.

Shortly afterward, workers occupied the Dhaka-Tangail highway in the Bhasan Thana area of Gazipur city. The situation was eventually brought under control with the assistance of the Joydebpur Fire Service personnel.

Imran Ahmed, additional superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police, said that the protests in a factory in the Chandana area had been effectively controlled. However, workers from nearby factories vandalised the Naozor area, setting fire to wood and tyres on the road.

"Neither the authorities nor the workers wish to escalate the situation. Efforts are being made to redirect the agitating workers away from the highway," said Superintendent Sarwar Alam of Gazipur Industrial Area Police-2.