Hunger strike continues for 8th day

Moloy Saha
Workers of Tuba Group pass the eighth straight day on hunger strike on Monday demanding payment of arrears, wage and festival allowance.  — Snigdha Zaman

Workers of Tuba Group pass the eighth straight day on hunger strike on Monday demanding payment of arrears, wage and festival allowance. — Snigdha Zaman

Workers of Tuba Group on Monday continued their fast unto death for eighth day pressing for arrear wages and festival allowance.
Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee reiterated that they would not accept partial payment offered by the owners and said that the owners must pay their wages for three months and the festival allowance at a time.
More than 100 protesting workers became ill so far and seven were sent to different hospitals on Monday when they became seriously ill, committee leaders said.
Several hundred Tuba Group workers and Garments Sramik Oikya Forum president Muahrefa Mishu were taking part in the fasting at the 7th floor of the Hossain Market at North Badda in the capital.
The committee staged rallies in different apparel industrial belts across the country on Monday to press its five-point demands including payment of arrear wages for three months to 1,600 Tuba Group workers, cancellation of bail granted by the High Court to Tuba Group owner Delwer Hossain and compensating workers who were taking part in the fasting.
The committee will lay seize to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association building at Karwanbazar today, its leaders said  in a statement on Monday.
Democratic Left Alliance, a combine of the eight left leaning political parties, the Communist Party of Bangladesh and the Socialist Party of Bangladesh, Nagarik Oikya, 30 apparel workers’ organisations and Textile Garments Workers Federation held separate programmes demanding resolution of the crisis.
Democratic Left Alliance, held a march towards the labour ministry following a rally in front of the National Press Club.
The police stopped the march beside the Press Club making a fence obstacle and the leaders and activists of the combine broke the obstacle and held a rally sitting on the street.
The left leaders called on the government and the factory owners to pay the dues of the workers immediately.
The alliance would go for a hunger strike in the capital on Wednesday if the payment was not made, the alliance coordinator Shubhrangshu Chakrabarty announced at the rally.
They also expressed their solidarity with the demonstrations to be staged in front of the BGMEA Bhaban today by the Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee.
The alliance would announce tougher movements including general strike and blockade if the crisis of the Tuba workers were not met immediacy, Shubhrangshu said.
Alliance leaders Saiful Huq, Zonayed Saki, Abdus Satter, Hamidul Haque, Shahidul Islam Sabuj and others addressed the rally.
The CPB and the SPB held a rally in front of the Press Club pressing for the same demands.
CPB presidium member Haider Akbar Khan Rano, who chaired the rally, said that the workers of the Tuba would not accept any partial payment.
He called on the government and apparel factory owners to pay the dues of the workers at a time and expressed solidarity with the token hunger strike programme to be staged by eminent citizens at Central Shaheed Minar on Wednesday.
The CPB and SPB, would announce tougher agitations including general strike, if the payment was delayed further, Rano said.
CPB central leaders Mohammad Shah Alam, Sajedul Haque Rubel, Joly Talukder, SPB central leader Bazlur Rashid Firoz and Razequzzaman Ratan spoke at the rally.
The rally was followed by a procession.
Nagarik Oikya, also formed a human-chain in front of Press Club.
Nagarik Oikya Mahnudur Rahman Manna urged the government and factory owners to pay the wages and festival allowance of the Tuba workers immediately.
The leaders of 30 apparel workers organisations also held a token  hunger strike in front of Press Club.
Leaders of the Textile Garments Workers Federation lay seize to the office of the joint labour director’s office at Bjoynagar pressing for the demands.

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