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30 injured in RMG workers-police clash in Savar, BGB deployed

  • Published at 05:33 am January 9th, 2019
web-Police RMG industry workers’ protest-savar
File Photo: Police disperse the ready-made garment (RMG) industry workers, who are protesting, in Savar on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Workers blocked a road near Enam Medical College and Hospital

At least 30 people have been injured in separate clashes between ready-made garment (RMG) industry workers and police in Savar.

The clashes occurred at Ulail and Ganda, on Wednesday morning, when workers gathered there to demonstrate and demand changes to the newly-announced wage structure.  

Police fired tear gas shells and blank rounds to disperse protesting RMG industry workers from the Ulail’s Al Muslim factory.

Al Muslim’s workers—who started demonstrating in the area around 7am—also demanded justice for an RMG industry worker who was killed in clashes with police during their demonstration on Tuesday.

Police baton-charged the workers and also used water cannon to disperse the crowd; the workers retaliated by hurling brickbats. 

Also Read- RMG workers protest for 3rd day, block Dhaka roads

When dispersed by police, Al Muslim workers regrouped near Enam Medical College and Hospital, and blocked the road; a location about 2km away from their factory in Ulail.

Later, they were joined by workers from three neighbouring factories.

Confirming the matter, Ashulia Industrial Police (Dhaka 1) SP Sana Saminur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune: “Several workers of different garment factories are protesting in the area. 

“We had to fire tear gas, rubber bullets, and blank shots to disperse them.”

He said Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has been deployed in the area. 

Several workers of different garment factories join the protest in Savar on January 9, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

He said: “We are trying to contain the situation. Around 30 people, including police were injured in the clash.“ 

Firoza, an operator of Al Muslim garment factory, said: "We went to talk to our general manager about the issues relating to the new wage structure. 

“We demanded a balanced and fair wage structure for all of us. We also expressed our anger over the death of one of our fellow workers."

She added: "However, he [the general manager] grew angry and took away our identity cards. He told us not to work. Security officials of the factory also forced us out of the factory compound."

Also Read- Discrepancies they find

Suronjit, another of the factory’s operators, claimed: "We were beaten up by the factory guards as well as the police. According to the new wage structure, a garment helper will get a raise of Tk3,000, whereas an operator will get a raise of only Tk900. 

“This is just absurd and unfair. We want a proper solution to this problem."

Workers of several garment factories have been protesting in Savar, and different parts of Dhaka, for the last three days; they are protesting against the discrepancies of the newly-announced wage structure and demanding they be removed.

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