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Be serious about demands of jute mill workers

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05th-Dec-2019       
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UNREST among the workers of state-owned jute mills has been intensifying over some of their unfulfilled demands, including pay hike and payment of dues. The workers observed 24-hour strike in workplaces across the country on Tuesday to press their 11-point demand. The production was stopped in 24 state-owned jute mills, out of 26, under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) on the day. Newspapers reported that workers in Khulna, Jashore, Chattogram, Rajshahi and Narsingdi under the banner of CBA-non-CBA Sangram Parishad along with Employees' Unions observed the strike as part of their centrally declared countrywide programmes. The demonstrators said they would continue their movement until their main demands of unpaid wages and new wage structure were met. They further announced demonstrations on December 8 and indefinite hunger strike from December 10 if their demands were not met by December 9.
It was learnt that jute mill workers were not getting their wages for a long time and the government was yet to implement the National Wage and Productivity Commission Award-2015 though it was assured in a tri-partite agreement signed on April 15 that the award would be implemented by May 15. It is hard to understand why the government is not taking any effective measure to realise the rational demands of jute mill workers. Several thousand workers in a number of factories are now jobless. Their due payments were not given. Despite providing big amounts of money by the government every year, the BJMC has failed to make it a profitable sector. The government paid Tk 7,477 crore to BJMC to bail it out of its financial troubles in the last ten years. But it is still demanding for more funds. Widespread corruption is the main reason for this present crisis.
Since independence, we've seen many misdeeds and wrongdoings by a section of people to ruin the jute sector. It is not yet stopped. Government either should take the matter seriously or permanently shut down the mills arranging alternative jobs for the workers. There is no need of wasting public money for nourishing some corrupts.


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