The Bidi workers have demanded to increase wages of the workers of Bidi industries and keep provision of 6 days’ work in a week in bidi factories. They came up with the demand from a rally organized by Bangladesh Bidi Sramik Federation on the occasion of ‘May Day’ in front of National Press Club on Wednesday. President of Bangladesh Bidi Sramik Federation MK Bangali, Vice presidents Nazim Uddin and Lokman Hakim, General Secretary Abdur Rahman, organizing Secretary Abdul Gafur, publicity secretary Shamim Islam, among others, spoke in the function while the join Secretary Harik Hossain moderated it.
They also demand the government produce Act for the protection for workers in bidi industry, reduction of existing tariff on bidis in the budget of 2022-2023 and withdrawal of 10 percent advance income tax on bidi to save the industries for the survival workers. Though the history of struggling laborers is long to protect the rights of workers, the laborers are fighting till to establish their wages and others rights, said Bidi Sramik Federation leaders. The labor are becoming deprived in any crisis, including Covid-19 pandemic that is very sad, to honor the May Day, they demand to give priority for Bidi labor protection Act.
Bidi Sramik Federation leaders further said that millions of workers of the country make a living by working in the ancient labor intensive bidi industry. But the country's ancient labor-intensive industry is being destroyed by the conspiracy of foreign multinational companies.
The Cigarette companies are burning the lungs of people of this country and taking huge money abroad, in addition, some unscrupulous bureaucrats are conspiring to impose exorbitant taxes on bidis to give foreign cigarette companies a monopoly, Bidi workers leaders said.