Tuba workers reject partial payment

Staff Correspondent
Garment workers of Tuba Group continue their hunger strike for the consecutive seventh day on Sunday at an apparel unit at Maddhya Badda in the capital, demanding payment of their arrears. — Indrajit Ghosh

Garment workers of Tuba Group continue their hunger strike for the consecutive seventh day on Sunday at an apparel unit at Maddhya Badda in the capital, demanding payment of their arrears. — Indrajit Ghosh

The hunger-striking garment workers of Tuba Group on Sunday rejected the authorities’ offer to pay two months’ wages and vowed to continue their protests until all their dues and festival allowance were cleared.
The government and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association after a tripartite meeting with a section of labour leaders at the association headquarters decided that wages of the workers of five garment factories of Tuba Group for May and June would be paid on August 6 and wages for July by August 10.
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan on Sunday said in a briefing that out of the three months’ dues, the BGMEA would arrange wages for two months from an emergency fund and it would be paid on Wednesday.
Workers and garment labour leader Mushrefa Mishu continued their hunger strike for the seventh consecutive day on Sunday. More than 100 of them already fell sick and 10 of them were shifted to hospitals.
Garment Sramik Oikya Forum leader Shahidul Islam Sabuj told New Age that the workers of Tuba Group had rejected the proposal for partial payment of their wages and allowance.
The Tuba Group workers would continue their hunger strike, he said. The workers held a protest rally at Shahbagh in the afternoon, which was followed by a torch procession, he said.
Tuba Group Sramik Sangarm Committee, earlier on the day, announced fresh movement programmes, including demonstrations in front of the BGMEA Bhaban at Kawranbazar at 11:00am Tuesday and demonstrations in all garment hubs today.
Garment Sramik Oikya Forum president Mushrefa Mishu at a press briefing at Hossain Market at North Badda announced the programme.
The demands include immediate payment of all dues of Tuba Group workers, cancellation of the bail of Delwar Hossain, the owner of the group, adequate compensation to the families of the victims of Tazreen Fashions fire and guarantee of service for Tuba Group workers.
Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad formed human chain at the entrance to the High Court in the morning to press its demands for payment of dues of the workers immediately and cancellation of the bail the High Court granted to Delwar.
Twenty-four eminent citizens in a press statement on the day called on the owners to pay the dues of the Tuba Group workers without further delay.
The signatories to the statement included Dhaka University professor emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury, DU teachers KKM Saad Uddin, MM Akash, Kamal Lohani, Sheikh Muhammad Shaheedullah and Syed Abul Maksud.
Seven garment workers’ rights organisations also formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club on the day.
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, shipping minister Shajahan Khan and state minister for labour Mujibul Haque held a day-long meeting with the BGMEA representatives and a section of labour leaders to find a way out of the crisis over Tuba Group workers’ wages.
Shajahan after the meeting requested Tuba Group workers to withdraw their protest programme and accept the wages for two months on Wednesday and said the rest, including festival allowance, would be cleared after the company owner was released from jail.
Leaders of Garment Workers Coordination Council attended the meeting as workers’ representatives but they have no involvement in the ongoing protests by the Tuba Group workers.
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan is the convenor of the Garment Workers Coordination Council.
Acting BGMEA president SM Mannan Kochi urged the workers to receive wages for May and June from the BGMEA office on Wednesday.

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