Workers of Tuba Group have laid siege to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Bhaban in the city demanding their salary and bonus. Earlier, the workers called upon the owner to pay their salary and bonus by Saturday afternoon.
The agitated workers besieged the building under the banner of Garment Sramik Samannaya Parishad around 1pm.
Agitated workers said the workers first surrounded BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim's residence. Police suggested them to hold their programme in front of the BGMEA Bhaban.
At this, the leaders lead the workers to the BGMEA Bhaban. Additional police force has been deployed in front of BGMEA Bhaban to prevent any untoward incident. Workers said they would not return without their dues.
More than 30 per cent of the Readymade Garment factory owners will not pay salary for the month of September to their workers before Eid ul Azha, the labour leaders claimed on Saturday.
The owners would pay only 10 day's salary to the workers and only 40 per cent owners gave bonus amounting to 15 to 20 per cent of worker's basic salary.
Moshrefa Mishu, Convener of Tuba Group Sramik Sangram (workers' action) Committee, said workers of the five factories of Tuba Group could not enjoy the last Eid-ul-Fitr festival as the owner did not pay their wages and bonus. The management will have to pay the wages of the month of August and September with two Eid bonuses as they shut the factories illegally then.
Meanwhile, Shahidullah Azim, Vice-President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said, "Out of 612 factories about 100 per cent garment factories paid bonuses to their workers by the deadline set by the government."
As the factories of Tuba Group remained closed during the last couple of months, it is difficult for the factory owner to pay festival allowance and salaries to the workers ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, BGMEA vice president said.
"We have already called upon the owner of Tuba Group to pay at least one basic salary to their workers so that they could observe the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha," Azim pointed out.
But the owner of Tuba Group Delware Hossain told us that he has no money to pay the salary as the factories remain shut down since June, the vice president of BGMEA said.
Earlier, the Ministry of Labour and Employment directed the factory owners to pay Eid bonus to their respective workers by September 28 and the running month's wages by October 2.
The BGMEA identified 27 factories as defaulters in paying their workers' Eid bonus within the deadline, he said and added that 23 factories were able to pay off the Eid bonus to their workers within the deadline.
Sirajul Islam Rony, President of Bangladesh National Garment Sramik Karmachari League, told The Daily Observer that around 80 per cent factories have paid Eid bonus till yesterday.
The compliant factories have already paid their workers Eid bonus, he said and expressed grave concern over the payment of workers' Eid bonus and salaries for September ahead of Eid-ul-Azha by the non-compliant and sub-contracting factories. There are several factories which did not pay last month's salary to their workers, he claimed.