Garment workers protest on Dhaka-Aricha highway, halting traffic for over three hours

The demonstration disrupts traffic on the highway for three and a half hours, causing immense suffering to commuters

Published : 4 Jan 2024, 11:25 AM
Updated : 4 Jan 2024, 11:25 AM

The workers of an apparel factory blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway to protest an alleged assault on a colleague for demanding a wage hike.

Workers of Rising Group’s Mahmuda Attires Ltd in Dhamrai’s Sutipara Union occupied the highway for three and a half hours from 10:30 am Thursday, causing a gridlock, according to local police station chief Sizajul Islam.

Normal traffic resumed after the police went to the scene and persuaded the protesters to clear the highway around 1:30 pm, Sirajul said.

The angry workers staged the blockade after factory authorities allegedly hired a local 'thug' to beat up Mamun and other workers demanding higher pay.

They vowed to continue demonstrating until their demands are met.

"The authorities did not increase our salaries in line with the new wage structure announced by the government. There is no grade system here and everyone earns the same wage,” said Rafiqul Islam, a factory worker.

“The owners threatened to fire us if we continued to raise the issue. Assailants hired by the authorities later attacked us. We are now protesting in the streets as we have no other recourse.”