Monday, October 14, 2019

30 injured in Savar as workers clash with police amid pay protest

  • Savar Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-01-09 20:45:22 BdST

At least 30 people have been injured in clashes between police and ready-made garment workers in Savar amid ongoing labour protests.

Violence in the industrial area forced 15 garment factories to close operations for a day on Wednesday.

The clashes began when police tried to disperse garment workers holding demonstrations blocking several streets at Savar’s Ulail, Ashulia, Kathgora, Jirabo and Narsinhopur areas.

The worker unrest rolled on to its fourth day despite a government announcement promising a review of the worker wage within one month. 

More than 15 injured workers were given primary medical care at the Women and Children’s Health Centre in Beron between morning and afternoon, said the centre’s director Rafiqul Islam.

Several police officers were also injured by brickbats hurled by protesters, said Savar Police OC Abdul Awal.

A number of factories announced holidays for the workers amid concerns for security, said Sana Saminur Rahman, the director of Industrial Police-1. “Garment workers had tried to put up blockades in Savar and Ashulia since morning.”

Workers of Ulail’s Al-Muslim factory took to the streets around 11:00am but police and BGB personnel persuaded to them to leave. But the protesters returned moments later and began to block traffic on Dhaka-Aricha Highway.

This time, however, police targeted the protests by firing rubber bullets, tear gas shells and charging baton, causing them to retreat from the area.

Vehicles that were stuck because of the violence were able to move ahead on the highway while security personnel took position on both sides of the road. 

In Hemayetpur, workers demonstrated on the Tannery-Hemayetput streets and set various objects on fire. They began hurling brickbats at nearby factories when clashes broke out with police.

Standard Group closed its factory, declaring a day-off for workers in an effort to douse the situation.

Multiple workers, who wished to remain anonymous, said they joined the demonstration to protest against discrimination caused by the new wage structure.

Workers from different garment factories in Ashulia took to the Abdullahpur-Baipail road around 7:00am on Wednesday. They vandalised a number of vehicles on the road before clashing with police.