55 RMG factories re-open in Ashulia, garment workers join work

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Ashulia, December 26: Fifty-five ready-made garment (RMG) factories at Ashulia under Savar upazila resumed operations on Monday after remaining closed for five consecutive days.

Workers were found entering the factories at Jamgora, Beron, Narsinghapur and Ghoshbagh areas from the morning.

The factories were shut down for an indefinite period on December 20 in sequel to work abstention by workers demanding to hike wages.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) held a meeting with the owners of closed factories on Sunday. It was decided at the meeting to resume operations at 55 garment factories in Ashulia from Monday.

A sigh of relief has returned to the Ashulia industrial area with the joining of workers to their duties.

However, authorities of several garment factories have retrenched agitating workers on charge of instigating movement examining the video footages of their factories. Though the sacked workers went to the factories concerned to join the work, they were not allowed to enter inside. Dhaka district police called upon the law enforcers and the factory owners not to allow the sacked workers to enter the factories.

Industrial Police-1 director Mostafizur Rahman said the workers started production entering the factories after the closed factories resumed operations. No untoward incident has so far been reported. In order to avert any untoward incident, additional police personnel have been deployed in the industrial areas apart from patrolling by the BGB and RAB personnel.

It may be mentioned that Ashulia readymade garment industrial area became heated over labour unrest from December 11 last following several demands raised by workers including fresh wage hike, stop of retrenchment of workers.

Fearing that the Ashulia situation would go beyond control,  the owners on December 20 closed down 55 factories for an indefinite period.

On charge of instigating the ongoing labour unrest at Ashulia, 121 workers of Windy Group, 135 staff of Fountain factory and 96 workers of Ha-Mim Group were suspended. Besides, 10 cases were filed against labour leaders, political leaders and activists, actors, news casters, journalists and workers. Of them, 23 were arrested and sent to jail through court.

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