15 injured as RMG workers clash with police

Staff Correspondent

Several thousand workers of an Indian-owned apparel factory inside Dhaka Export Processing Zone of Ashulia on Monday demonstrated for realising ten-point demands, including, introducing yearly gratuity and salary increment, police and workers said.
At least 15 workers received minor injuries in a clash with police that ensued on the outskirts of the capital.
To avoid any further incident, the management of the factory declared their three facilities shut for the day.
Witnesses said several thousand workers of three units of Linny Fashion Limited at old zone of DEPZ started demonstration in the morning demanding gratuity, annual salary increment, payment of over-time bills and introducing Tiffin breaks.
A female worker of the factory on condition of anonymity said that last January the management had raised salaries of the staff. The workers’ wages remained unchanged.
Since then the workers have repeatedly been demanding increment in their wages. But, none paid attention, workers said.
‘The police fired several tear gas shells as the workers attempted to block an inter-connecting road of the DEPZ,’ a witness, Robiul Hasan, 34, said.
New Age rang Md. Mostafizur Rahman, the director of Ashulia industrial police, for his comment.  He did not, however, receive the call.
The general manager of DEPZ, Abdus Sobhan, said the workers’ demand were vague.
‘Some workers are demanding gratuity illegally,’ he said.
‘According to DEPZ laws, the workers are not entitled to gratuity. Such demand cannot be conveyed to the factory owner,’ he claimed.
The factory management could not be contacted for their comments.

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