Demonstrating workers of Barapukuria Coal Mine have suspended their two months long movement for returning to work and demanding arrears after getting partial acceptance from the authority.
Robiul Islam, President of Barapukuria Coal Mine Miners' and Workers' Union said on Friday night in a meeting the authority agreed to let the workers join work in phases.
“Regarding the payment of eight months' arrears a decision will be taken after a meeting with the workers’ representative in Petrobangla in Dhaka,” he said.
“On Saturday, in the first phase 212 workers’ samples were sent for Covid-19 test. If they test negative they will be able to rejoin work after staying in quarantine for a week to 1o days inside the mine premises,” said Kamruzzaman Khan, Managing Director Engineer of Barapukuria Coal Mine.
He said all the 850 workers will be allowed to join work again.
The workers have been holding different programmes since March to press home their demands.
Robiul Islam Robi, president of Barapukuria Coal Mine Miners' and Workers' Union said,”Around 1100 local miners excavate coal from the mine under three Chinease contractor companies CMC, XMC and JXMC.”
Of them 700 were supposed to get monthly Tk 4,000 each as allowance during their lay off due to Covid-19 pandemic but in the last 8 months they neither received any allowances nor were allowed to rejoin work.
Meanwhile, the contracting companies forced 400 workers to stay inside the mine and work without allowing them to meet their families.