Workers lay siege to spinning mills in Khulna

Staff Correspondent . Khulna

Nearly 3,000 workers, both permanent and casual, laid siege to the laid-off Shagar Jute Spinning Mills at Senhati under Digholia in Khulna on Thursday morning, demanding withdrawal of lay-off.
The mill was laid off by the management on ground of financial crisis without giving any prior information and consultation with CBA leaders, rendering 300 permanent and 2,700 casual workers jobless.
A notice asking workers not to join works, however, was found hanging in front of the main gate of the mill on early morning of April 13.
Workers demanded withdrawal of the layoff notice terming it illegal and illogical and reopening of the mill by April 25, otherwise they would launch a tough movement.
General secretary of Shagar Jute Spinning Mills Workers’ Union Sheikh Babar Ali said families of the jobless workers were passing their days in hardship.
The management laid off the mill initially for two weeks with a view to shut it down finally on false ground of financial crisis as the workers demanded rise in their daily wages and payment of other financial benefits, Sheikh Babar Ali said.
When contacted over phone, deputy general manager of the mill Major (retd) Syed Abu Bakar told New Age that the mill had to be laid off due to severe crisis of running capital and sharp fall in prices of jute goods in markets both at home and abroad.
‘Price of jute goods in world markets is now lower than the price of raw jute. Under this circumstance, we are to rethink if layoff should be further extended till fall in price of raw jute and rise in price of jute goods,’ DGM said.
Meanwhile, leaders of workers’ union and ruling party sought direct intervention of the jute minister to resolve this crisis on an urgent basis before the situation turned worse.

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