Killings of RMG workers must be investigated for the sake of justice


It is very scary to note that in Bangladesh, garment workers had to lay their lives for a pay hike.

Lives of several workers were lost in this year’s movement for a pay hike, only then the workers could get an increase of 56 per cent from the previous minimum wage for workers.

Even scarier is the fact that the killing of these workers during different labour movements remains uninvestigated by the police.

Society has become so insensitive that it does not feel any urgency to bring those who are responsible for the killing of the workers to justice.

The list of the dead workers is long. Reportedly, at least 10 garment workers were killed in labour unrest in the last ten years but in most of these incidents, no case was filed.

Two workers named Badshah Miah and Ruma Akter of GMS Composite Knitting died in November 2013 during a demonstration in Gazipur.

In December 2018, Bubli Begum of the Gazipur BSCIC industrial area was killed during a wage protest.

Again, in January 2019, worker Sumon Kha of the Anlima Group factory in Savar, died in an alleged police firing during labour unrest.


In June 2021, DEPZ garment factory Gold Tex Garment’s Jesmin Akter was killed as workers locked in a clash with police.

Even a worker’s leader, Shahidul Alam, president of Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation Gazipur unit, was allegedly beaten to death.

This year’s labour unrest for pay hike alone witnessed five deaths.

As per rule, the police on their own should have filed cases on these incidents if the victim’s family members do not do it.

Contrarily, police in fact discouraged the members of the victim’s family to file any case like the management of the factory the victim worked for.

They want to hush up the killing of workers. It is ironic that the police are eager to file cases against the workers rather than accept cases in favour of the workers when they are victims.

It is not for this Bangladesh we fought a bloody war in 1971 where democracy will remain absent and serious crimes such as killing of workers – any people – will not be investigated and punishment meted out to the perpetrators of these crimes.

Since these incidents of killing of workers are not investigated and victims are not served justice, society will inevitably see more killings in absence of punishment as deterrence.