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Workers block road in Ashulia, demand wage arrears

  • Published at 05:12 pm November 2nd, 2020
Screenshot of Ashulia taken from Google map

At one point during the protest, DEPZ security personnel attempted to remove the workers from the road by beating them with sticks

Workers have blocked the Nabinagar-Chandra highway in Ashulia demanding arrears of wages.

According to factory workers and police sources, a factory called A-one (BD) Ltd in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) was shut down by its owners in April without paying due wages to its workers.

The workers have since staged multiple protests without any result.

At one point during the protest on Monday morning, DEPZ security personnel attempted to remove the workers from the road by beating them with sticks.

Some of the protesting workers were reportedly injured in the incident.

At a later time, the industrial police fired water cannons to disperse the workers, and eventually brought the situation under control.

Dhaka Industrial Police 1 Superintendent of Police Sana Saminur Rahman said they had no choice but to remove the workers since they were blocking the road. 

He said, however, that the industrial police only used water cannons and refrained from beating the workers. 

Saminur Rahman, instead, pointed to DEPZ security personnel for being responsible for assaulting the workers with sticks.

Regarding the matter, DEPZ General Manager Abdus Sobhan said A-one (BD) Ltd was scheduled to be auctioned on Monday. However, the auction was stopped by bank authorities through a court order. 

Bank authorities and Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) are also trying to sell the factory. If the factory is sold, the arrears of the workers will be paid, assured Abdus Sobhan.

The Covid-19 crisis, beginning in early February, forced many companies and factories to shut down. In many cases, owners were unable to pay their workers properly.  

In Bangladesh, the crisis hit the garment sector especially hard, resulting in massive layoffs and delayed wage payments.