Factory layoff sparks protest


Around six hundred workers of ‘Bando Eco Apparels Ltd’, a readymade garments factory, staged demonstration by blocking Dhaka-Aricha highway, protesting lay-off announcement of the print section of the factory at Salehpur area of Aminbazar in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital on Wednesday evening.

Chase and counter chases occurred between police and workers during the time, even a journalist was also injured at the time, while workers were throwing stones aimed at the police during the clash. The journalist got a head injury and 3 stitches were given, after he had been taken to the nearest hospital.

“The traffic on both sides of the highway came to a halt following the demonstration, Later; policemen went to the spot and requested agitators to lift the road block. At a stage, police charged batons  towards  the agitators and threw tear shells and brought the situation under control but the agitators started throwing brick-bats aimed at the policemen, as well as the road traffic. However, the  workers  were removed from the highway”, Md. Awal Hossain Khan, Sr. ASP, Savar zone of Industrial police told The Bangladesh Post. In addition, 4 policemen were injured during the clash.

Aminul Islam, a worker of the factory said, the demonstration started following a lay-off announcement of the authority, while they announced that the print section (4th floor) of the factory would remain shut down from Oct 22 to Nov 7. Later, around 5 hundred workers of the floor along with other workers from different floor started demonstration protesting the announcement. . It is alleged that the authorities often announce lay-off for a few days. Workers only get half of the basic salary during the lay-off period; therefore workers suffer financially.  

Rafiqul Islam Shujon, a workers leader of Bangladesh garment shilpa sramik federation told The Bangladesh Post, “Around 2 hundred workers went to the BGMEA office and lodged a written complaint regarding the matter to the BGMEA president on Thursday morning. BGMEA official receives the letter and assures us to solve the problem by discussing it with factory authorities and workers.”

When contacted, Tushar, an admin officer of Bando Eco Apparels Ltd refused to comment regarding the matter.