Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013

PROTEST AGAINST SAVAR TRAGEDY

RMG units in capital suspend operation

Many garment factories in the capital suspended operations on Thursday after angry workers protested and threatened to attack if the units were not closed in a show of sympathy to the victims of Savar building collapse.

In one of the incidents, owners of Alauddin Garments Ltd declared closure of its five units in Farmgate around 12:30pm after several dozens workers from different garment factories started to pelt bricks at one of their buildings.

“Neither the government nor the BGMEA [Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association] asked us to keep the factories closed. So, we opened it as usual,” said Arif ur Rahman, a manager of Alauddin Garments.

“Suddenly they (aggrieved workers) appeared at around 12:00pm and demanded closure of the factories. As things started to slip out of control, we suspended the operations for the day,” he said.

Rahman also said the factory units however did not suffer much damage during the half-hour protest.

Cambridge Garments, Primordial Ltd and Ornab Garmets, in the same building, also suspended their operations for the day.

The angry workers, armed with wooden and bamboo sticks, threw brick chips, breaking some glasses.

Some were also seen breaking some wooden chairs and tables before police arrived.

Police said the workers caused no major damage.

No arrest was made.

Some workers, who came from Rampura, said their factories were closed and now they were overseeing who was keeping the factories open.

“How could the factory owners keep the factories open when our fellow workers are dying in Savar?” asked 21-year old Ashik, who gave only one name.

Zahir, 18-year-old, said: “All of us should go to Savar to help rescue efforts.”

The workers said they forced many garment owners in Rampura and Malibagh to close their production units.