Ashulia crisis may end by Saturday: Munnujan

State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian has assured BGMEA leaders of resolving the ongoing crisis in the Ashulia industrial belt by Saturday.

“People who instigated the labour unrest in garment sector will be identified and brought to justice,” she said on Tuesday.

The state minister was talking to reports after a three-hour meeting with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders and intelligence agencies at the ministry in the afternoon.

As the journalists asked her about the government stance regarding the Ashulia issue, she said, “We are yet to decide anything about it but hopefully will reach a decision by Saturday.”

Munnujan said she will hold a meeting with workers Wednesday.

She further said the Ashulia unrest was not flared up only for pay hikes, but for something else.

She however did not elaborate on the comment.

After the meeting, BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin termed the recent unrest as “anarchy”.

Asked whether the factories would be opened by Saturday, he said, “We all are trying to find a solution to this end. We did not set up factories for keeping those closed.”

“The closure will be withdrawn as soon as safety is ensured,” he said.

“This time the miscreants will be identified and brought to justice with the help of CCTV footage from the factories and video footage from intelligence agencies,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garments Workers' Unity Council urged the government to take initiatives to reopen the garment factories, which remain closed since Sunday following the labour unrest.

Sirajul Islam Ronny, coordinator of the council, placed a five-point demand at a press conference at Shahid Asad Auditorium on Topkhana Road in the capital.

The other demands include ensuring congenial atmosphere at factories and bonus of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.

Around 9:00am, more than 300 workers of two garment factories of Polmal Group staged demonstrations at Shimultoli in Ashulia demanding reopening of the factories.

Police charged batons and dispersed the agitating workers around 9:40am.

At least 30 small factories in Ashulia, which are not members of the BGMEA and BKMEA, have been running their factories, said Badrul Alam Sheikh, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station.

Earlier on Saturday, RMG factory owners decided to shut more than 300 factories in Ashulia for an indefinite period as garment workers continued to stage violent demonstrations from June 11 for a hike in their wages.

Fuming over the shutdown of the garment factories, agitating workers fought pitched battles with law enforcers on Sunday.

News Source: 
The Daily Star