Garment workers block city road for 8 hours |
Several thousand of agitating workers from two garment factories barricaded Rokeya Sarani yesterday for eight and a half hours resulting in a traffic gridlock in the capital.
Workers of Perfect Sweaters Ltd and TS Sweaters Ltd blockaded both sides of Rokeya Sarani stretching from Agargaon to Mirpur 10 and brought all vehicular movement to a standstill from 8:00am to 4:30pm.
A huge number of police were deployed on the scene to avoid any untoward incident.
The abrupt halt of traffic clogged up the surrounding streets causing excruciating sufferings to commuters and city dwellers who had no other means but to walk to get to their destinations.
The workers claimed that they were compelled to barricade the roads as a means of drawing attention since their employers turned a deaf eye to their nine-point demand which included increase of salary, Eid bonus, over time work opportunity and shorter work hours during Ramadan.
A TS Sweaters employee said they had a discussion with the factory officials on September 16 regarding their demands followed up by another meeting on September 24 where the officials assured the workers of considering their demands as per BGMEA rules.
"We suddenly found both garment factories closed on September 25 for indefinite period. We tried to contact our employers, but as we failed to reach them. And that forced us to take this action," explained Mobarak Hussain, another employee at TS Sweater Limited.
Ritan Kanti Barua, general manager Perfect Sweaters Limited, however, commented that the authorities could not meet the workers' demands as those were irrational.
The factory workers later withdrew their barricade at around 4:30pm after the owners promised the workers to sit with them for more discussions over their demands.
The factory owners will meet with the workers' representatives at BGMEA Bhaban today to review the nine-point demands of the workers.
Both factories are to resume operations today after three days of closure.