20 hurt as workers block roads, resort to vandalism
The apparel workers, demonstrating for salary hike, are continuing their protest in the capital and its outer edges Ashulia, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj areas for the fourth consecutive day Tuesday.
The unrest steamed from the workers’ demand to fix their monthly minimum wage at Tk 8,114.
At least 20 workers were injured when law enforcers tried to free Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways in Gazipur.
During the protest, the workers vandalised 10 vehicles and five factories.
Authorities of two RMG units in Kaliakoir upazila announced a one-day leave for today following the violence.
The aggrieved workers also blocked Kuril Biswa Road and Airport Road for an hour in the capital, halting traffic movement that caused immense sufferings to commuters in the busy morning hours, said Jewel Miah, a sub-inspector of Khilkhet Police Station.
On the other hand, workers of at least six factories in Ashulia went on work abstention since the morning.
In Narayanganj, the workers also blocked Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road, causing a huge tailback on there, media reports said.
The workers began the demonstration afresh on Tuesday at the moment when just a day ago the government’s assured the garment factory owners of adequate security to reopen their factories for today.
The demonstration erupts in the capital when around 2,500 workers of at least five local garment factories blocked Kuril Intersection around 9:00am, said SI Jewel.
Transport movements on Kuril Biswa Road and Airport Road remained suspended from 9:00am to 10:15am following the blockade, creating a huge traffic jam in the area, the SI said.
The workers freed the intersection when police assured them of settling the issue through a negotiation with the garments authorities.
Over 4,000 workers of six ferment factories of Ashulia including Mascot Garments, Macsuoka Apparel Limited and Reliance Garments Limited went on work abstention since the morning.
They are also staging demonstration in front of their respective factories, reports our Savar correspondent.
Earlier, the workers of Mascot Garments tried to block a link road between Dhaka-Aricha and Dhaka-Tangail highway, by putting barricade at Bishmaile around 9:30am, said industrial police in Ashulia.
Though they returned to factory after being resisted by the law enforcers, they did not join work, police said.
At least 20 workers were injured during sporadic clashes with law enforcers on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Mulaid area of Sreepur upazila.
The demonstration started afresh when the workers of Hasin Sweater, Talha Spinning Mill and Welltex Ltd barricaded the highway for two hours felling logs around 10:00am, creating over four kilometres tailback on the both sides of the highway.
The protest turned into a clash as police tried to free the road and workers retailed with brick chips.
During the incident police charged batons and fired rubber bullets and lobbed several teargas canisters to disperse the workers, leaving the 20 people injured, said Shariful Islam, an assistant sub-inspector of Gazipur Industrial Police.
Besides, the agitating workers vandalised at least 10 vehicles on Dhaka-Tangail highway and vandalised four garment units in Chandra and Palli Bidyut area of Kaliakoir upazila.
In Kaliakoir upazila, the workers of Apex Textile at first vandalised their and then ransacked nearby there more units of Eye-Moon Tex, Inter-Staff Apparel Ltd and Divine Tex Ltd around 8:30am.
Later, more than 10,000 workers of the factories blocked the highway torching tyres that created the four kilometres tailback for one and a half hours.
Police dispersed the workers from the highway charging batons around 9:30am, said Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police.
The authorities of Sejad Textile and APS Textile shut their production for Tuesday in the wake of the demonstrations.
The workers of several garments factories blocked Dhaka-Narayanganj Link road at Shibu Market area for one hour from 10:00am as the demonstration over salary hike spread to Narayanganj.
A huge traffic congestion occurred in the road following the blocked, which police managed to control around 11:00am, media reports said.
Source: The Daily Star