Tuba workers issue 24-hour ultimatum to pay wage, allowance

Staff Correspondent
Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee brings out a procession in the capital on Monday, demanding payment of salaries and festival allowances before Eid. — New Age photo

Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee brings out a procession in the capital on Monday, demanding payment of salaries and festival allowances before Eid. — New Age photo

Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee on Monday issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the government and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association to pay wages and festival allowances to the workers of five Tuba Group factories or face agitations.
The committee convener Mushrefa Mishu issued the ultimatum at a demonstration in front of BGMEA Bhaban at Karwan Bazar in the city.
Several hundred workers of Tuba Group on Monday staged sit-in in front of the BGMEA Bhaban pressing for their dues and festival allowances.
They chanted slogans and hoist red flags during the demonstration.
The workers demanded wages for the month of August and September and festival allowances for Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha.
Mushrefa said that the Tuba Group owner must pay the wages to the workers for the months of August and September as factory authority kept the units shut illegally and the government also termed the closure of the factories illegal.
‘The owners will not be allowed to celebrate the Eid if the festival of the workers is ruined for non-payment of the wages and allowances,’ she warned.
Mushrefa said that if the Tuba Group authorities failed to run the factories, they could declare the units shut according to the Labour Act paying compensation to the workers.
Tuba Group worker Anwar Hossain , also a sangram committee leader, said, ‘We want wages and festival allowances, security of jobs and reopening of the five factories.’
Garment Workers’ Unity Forum secretary Shahidul Islam Sabuj and Bangladesh Garment Worker Trade Union centre general secretary KM Ruhul Amin, among others, addressed the demonstration.
Acting BGMEA president Shahidullah Azim told New Age that they were working on the issue so that no unwarranted situation might take place in the sector before Eid.
‘We are trying to give at least basic wage for a month to the Tuba Group workers before Eid-ul-Azha,’ he said.
About 1,600 workers of the five factories — Bugshan Garments Ltd, Taif Designs Ltd, Tuba Fashions Ltd, Tuba Textiles and Mita Designs Ltd — had gone on a hunger strike day before Eid-ul-Fitr.
After the Eid-ul-Fitr, the BGMEA and the Tuba Group management paid only a part of the dues in two phases following an 11-day hunger strike.
On August 18, Tuba group authority posted a notice on the gates of the factories stating that the factories were closed with effect from June 11 under Section 13(1) of the Bangladesh Labour Act.
The labour ministry on August 26 termed the closure illegal and asked the owner to close the factory complying with the Labour Act. The ministry also advised the factory management to pay compensation along with the dues to the workers before closing down the factory.

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