More than five hundred workers of a garment factory demonstrated at Kashimpur in Gazipur on Sunday demanding payment of their wages of the last month.
They took to Dhaka-Tangail highway at Chokrobortir Tek in Kashimpur on Sunday afternoon and stayed there for more than an hour what resulted in a heavy traffic jam over a few kilometres.
More than six thousand people work at the KAC Fashionwear Limited, and only 500 of them are working now while the rest of the workers are on holidays with the promise of a minimum salary from the company.
However, the company is paying the salary only to the workers who are working currently while the others are denied, some workers told UNB.
“After paying the salary of April, the company told us to stay at home since many orders have been cancelled. They promised the workers who were sent to layoff that they will pay them a minimum salary. But now they are paying only to the 500 workers who are working currently,” Bokul Hossain, a worker at the Quality Control department of the company, said.
“The company took our identity cards while paying the last salary saying they need it for so-called official documentation. They are denying now to give our ID cards back, which means our jobs are not secured here anymore,” Bokul added.
As per the reports provided by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh’s garment export fell by 84% in the first half of April due to coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in cancelling or suspending $3 billion-worth of orders.
“The authority of KAC Fashionwear told us that they don’t have sufficient fund to pay the salary now, but they promised to pay all the dues in coming weeks,” SI Saidur of Kashimpur Police Station told UNB.
Bangladesh ranks only behind China as the supplier of clothing products to the Western countries. The country earns 80% of its exports from this industry. More than 4 million people work in garment factories and most of them are women.