Labor Strike Halts Traffic On Dhaka-Aricha Highway

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

In a demand for wage increase, workers of Frame House Footwear Limited, a shoe factory in Dhamrai, Dhaka, staged a protest, causing a disruption on the Dhaka-Aricha highway.

This Saturday morning (February 10), around 8:00 am, nearly two thousand workers of the factory blocked the highway near Dhaka-bound lane of Dhamrai Municipality. This led to a traffic jam spanning at least 3-4 kilometers on the highway.

Upon intervention by the Industrial Police, negotiations took place between the workers and the factory owners, resulting in the workers being directed back to the factory premises around 10:00 am.

The workers claim to currently receive a monthly wage of 7,100 Bangladeshi Taka (BDT), which they find insufficient due to the rising cost of living. They demand a minimum wage of 12,500 BDT. Despite repeated discussions with the management, their demands have not been met, prompting the strike action.

Sarwar Hossain, one of the workers, stated, "We receive only 7,100 BDT as wages. We have demanded this to the owners but they did not agree. That's why we are protesting."

Another worker, Mohammad Ali, demanded, "Helpers should be paid 12,500 BDT and operators 15,500 BDT with salaries to be disbursed by the 5th of each month. We are protesting with nearly two thousand workers of the factory on this demand."

Assistant General Manager (AGM Production) Jamun Bosunia mentioned, "Though there has been a gazette for wage increase in garment factories, there hasn't been one for the shoe factory workers. Despite this, the workers have expressed their demands. The management is considering raising wages next month. The matter is under process."

Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Anwar Hossain Khan of the Industrial Police commented, "The minimum wage has been set for garment factory workers but the shoe factory workers have not received it. They are protesting for the same reason. The primary cause of the protest is the absence of a gazette regarding their wages. This has led to the strike. They blocked the road around 9:00 am but were persuaded to clear the road after about half an hour. Currently, traffic movement on the highway has resumed."

The situation is ongoing, with workers waiting for a resolution to their wage demands from the factory management.

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