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Tuesday, January 8, 2019 11:06:04 PM
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RMG workers’ unrest

One killed, 50 hurt in clash with police

photo by NN Photo

RMG workers continue their protests for a third consecutive day on Tuesday and at one stage they locked in clashes with police in Savar, leaving one dead and over 50 injured.

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Staff Reporter :
A garment worker was killed and 50 others were injured when cops allegedly fired bullets and charged hundreds of agitators with batons as they staged demonstration for the third consecutive day on Tuesday by blocking roads demanding salary hike and implementation of newly formed wages in the city, Saval and Ashulia areas.
The injured men were sent to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital and several others clinic in critical situation, police and witnesses said.  
In Savar, at least a garment worker died and 45 people, 15 cops personnel and a bus passenger, were hurt in clashes during demonstrations at Hemayetpur around 8:30am, our local correspondent reports quoting police.
The deceased has been identified as Sumon Mia, 22, a worker of Al Lima Garment at Ulail in Hematepur of  Savar upazila.  Savar upazila Complex Dr Amzadul Haq said that Sumon succumbed to his injuries in the hospital around 3:30 pm.    
Industrial Police Dhaka-1 (Ashulia)  director Sana Samiur Rahman said that a garment worker was killed in a clash in the afternoon.
Saval Model Police Station Inspector (Investigation) said that a garment worker was killed in Ulail area.
Dr Nasir Uddin, In-Charge of Operation Theater (OT) of  Enam Medical Collge and Hospital, Savar, said that Akhi Begum and Rubi Begum were admitted in the hospital with bullets injuries.  
Rubi Begum, a worker of  Jamuna Garment, said that she received two bullets at Hemayetpur. 
Akhi Begum, a bus passenger, said that a bullet pierced through her abdomen while she was observing the clash between worker and police.
At least 15 policemen were also injured when the agitating workers hurled brick chunks, said Sana Shaminur Rahman.
In capital, around 500 garment workers tried to block the Airport Road protesting the same around 11:45am. The same was reported from Dakkhin Khan and Kalshi areas.
Eighteen readymade garment workers, including nine women, were injured in an attack by transport workers and CNG filling station employees in Savar.
Garment workers took to the street in Dhaka's Kalshi area in Mirpur and staged demonstration there for the third consecutive day demanding implementation of newly announced salary structure.
Agitated workers took position in front of a 22-storey garment factory in the morning. When police tried to disperse them, a chase and counter chase took place.
Pallabi Police Station OC Nazrul Islam said workers blocked one-side of the road but vehicular movement remained normal on the other side.
Meanwhile, a clash ensued between the workers of Nipa Garments, Choiti Garments, Flora Garments and some others with the law enforcers as they tried to block Airport Road since morning. Nabid Kamal Shoibal, Deputy Police Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police North Division, said that workers took to the streets at Mirpur's Kalshi, Rokeya Sarani, and Pallabi areas and tried to block the roads on Tuesday morning.
Since Sunday, garment workers had continued their demonstration to meet the demand immediately.
According to workers sources, the apparel workers demanded a minimum wage of Tk16,000 including Tk 10,000 as basic salary. Some of their other demands are- workers cannot be sacked by factory owners at any time without proper reason and around 51 per cent salary boost for the older employees who had been working as helpers in the factories.
Siddiqur Rahman, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said that  the factory owners in a meeting on Thursday night decided to implement the new salary structure following the new gazette published by the government.
The board also recommended the salaries of other six grades of the gazette involving transport, meal, house rent and other allowances. The minimum wage was last fixed at Tk 5,300 in 2013, up from Tk 3,000 in 2010, Tk 1,662.50 in 2006, Tk 940 in 1994 and Tk 627 in 1985.

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