At least 15 workers of a factory in the capital’s Bhatara area sustained injuries as police fired rubber bullets and hurled tear gas cannister at them during a demonstration demanding immediate payment of wages and bonuses.
Agitated workers clashed with police and blockaded roads in the area causing traffic congestion.
The Satarkul area under Bhatara police station turned into a battlefield when several hundred workers of Fuwang Garments Factory locked into a clash with law enforcers yesterday afternoon.
The workers had been demonstrating on the road by leaving their workplaces since morning demanding their dues.
The clash erupted when police tried to drive them away from the road around 3:30pm.
As police fired rubber bullets, lobbed tear gas canisters and charged batons, the workers retaliated with bricks.
The clash gave rise to a long traffic tailback in the adjacent areas causing homebound people to suffer.
SI Sirajul Islam of Bhatara police station said they had no option but to take action because the workers’ demonstration halted traffic movement.
Salam Jahan, a worker of the Fuwang factory, said they had taken to the street because they had not been getting their wages for three months, let alone Eid bonus.
Meanwhile, workers of five factories of the Tuba Group that also owned the fateful Tazreen Garments in Savar, laid siege to the BGMEA building in the capital yesterday, in the same demand.
Witnesses said several hundred workers of Tuba Fashions, Bukshan Garments, Tuba Textiles, Pipe Design and Mita Design gathered in front of the BGMEA building around 11:30am and kept everyone inside confined by locking the main gate.
Johora Khatun, a worker of Tuba Textiles, said they had not been paid their dues for May, June and July.
“We have been agitating for more than a month... but the authorities told us that unless the factory owner was freed, we would not be paid,” she said.
Tuba Textiles owner Delwar Hossain is now in jail in connection with the November 2012 factory fire in Tazreen that killed 112 workers.
The workers said they would not leave the place until they got their dues paid.
Around 2pm, workers of the Four Wings Garments Factory also took position in front of the BGMEA building in the same demand.
They said the owner had closed the factory recently without paying their dues.
Maruf Hossain, deputy commissioner of police of Ramna Division, said BGMEA leaders had been holding talks with the ministry concerned for a solution.