Garment workers block road in Gazipur to demand backpay

Workers from Style Craft’s garment factory are on strike to demand backpay, blocking the road in Gazipur’s Lakshmipur area.

Published : 8 July 2021, 10:38 AM
Updated : 8 July 2021, 10:38 AM

One factory worker said, on condition of anonymity, that he is owed backpay from as far back as March and that many others at the factory are in similar situations.

Factory management had promised to pay the wages several times, but had later reneged on their commitment, they said.

The management’s latest pledge was that the backpay would be resolved on Jul 7.

Staff demanded their pay on Thursday morning, but factory management deferred again, promising to pay by Jul 15, which led to unrest among the staff.

Around 10:30 am, the protest spilled onto the Gazipur-Dhaka road, which was blocked for nearly an hour.

Some workers say they are still owed backpay from last year.

Staff and workers at the factory went to work this morning, said Sumir Chandra Sutradar, a police inspector in the Gazipur Industrial Area.

Some time later, about 600-700 employees at the factory started to protest, he said. At one point, the protesters blocked a nearby road. The protest shifted back to the factory courtyard around 11 am. 

Factory owners came to the scene after they heard of the protest. As of 1:45 pm they were preparing to send a representative to negotiate with protesters.

Six to seven members of staff are owed a few months of backpay, said Md Sujauddin Ahmed, an official with the factory’s management.

The management had promised workers they would get their backpay by Jul 7, but it was not possible due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

The workers grew agitated when they deferred the wage payments to Jul 15.