Labour protest in Sreepur : Irregularities in payment of salaries, allowances alleged
Rafiqul Islam Biplob, Gazipur
Workers of Meghna Knit Composites in Masterbari area of Sreepur Upazila of Gazipur have demanded payment of regular salary allowance, payment of night bill, flexible treatment of officials, sick leave and maternity leave.
As the factory was announced to be closed indefinitely in the face of the agitation, they protested with thousands of workers of Subline Greentex Limited, a subsidiary of the same factory, throughout the day on Thursday.
Workers of Meghna Knit Composite Limited, Noman, Shipon, Laili and others told reporters that the factory was paying the salary allowance in the first week of every month in the past. But last 6 months ago several officials of the factory have been changed. They have not paid salary in the first week of any month since joining. Salary cannot be collected in any month without movement.
Due to late payment of salaries, they are not able to pay house rent and shop dues on time. The workers said that the night bill is not paid if the duty is done at night. Applications for sick leave and maternity leave are not granted. Claiming maternity leave is scorned for having a child as negative talk.
The workers protested by stopping work on Wednesday in protest of these behaviors. During this time, some officials were beaten. Later, in the face of the agitation, the workers called off the protest when the salary allowance was paid in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, when workers went to the factory to join work on Thursday morning, they found an indefinite leave notice at the gate. Enraged by this, the workers started throwing bricks and hitting the gate of Subline Greentex Limited in Aspada area, not far from the subsidiary of the factory.
At least 1000 workers of Subline Greentex Limited joined them in protest. During the peaceful protest in front of the factory, the workers said that the factory authorities are trying to prevent them from giving salary bonus ahead of Eid. Members of the Shilpa, Highway and Sreepur Thana Police took charge of security during the protest.
In this regard, the administrative officer of Meghna Knit Composite Limited Maqsud Alam said that the workers' salaries have been paid. Their other allegations are not correct. On Wednesday, riots, vandalism and beating of some officials in front of the factory disturbed the favorable environment for production. As a result, the factory was declared closed indefinitely after payment of wages. Workers will be notified by notice when the environment returns.
Mohammad Alam, Sub inspector of Industrial Police said police security has been beefed up to prevent the protesting workers from vandalizing or blocking the highway. Arrangements are being made to hold discussions with the factory authorities based on the validity of their demands.