Tuba workers protest05 October 2014 bdnews24.com
Several hundred ready-made garment workers of a Tuba Group factory have protested in front of the BGMEA Bhaban in Dhaka demanding outstanding salary and festival bonuses.
But the owner, Delwar Hossain, claims he does not have enough money to pay the workers even though several of his other factories are running.
Hossain was in jail after a fire in his Tazreen Fashions Limited factory killed over 110 workers two years ago.
Workers at five of his factories did not receive salaries and bonuses before the Eid-ul-Azha.
The BGMEA had to step in when over 1,500 workers of these five factories in Dhaka's Badda locality went on an indefinite hunger strike before last Eid.
Following BGMEA's intervention that time their salaries were paid and they were assured of festival bonuses later.
Hossain walked out of jail before the Eid, amid the worker unrest, on condition that he would pay up the workers. However, the factories are yet to resume operations and the workers are yet to receive their overdue.
Accompanied by leaders of workers' organisations, agitated workers took position in front of the BGMEA Bhaban on Saturday, two days before the Eid-ul-Azha, demanding outstanding dues.
Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee convenor Mosharefa Mishu said they would appreciate if the workers were paid at least a month's salary before the Eid.
When approached, Hossain said, "I don't have money. Tell me how can I pay them?
"Land has been mortgaged with the bank but it is not willing to give loan. I thought of paying the workers after getting money from the insurance company against Tazreen fire coverage. But I haven't got it yet and there's no assurance that I'll get it."
However, a Tuba Group worker 'Abirul' claimed several other factories owned by Hossain were running and workers there had been paid their Eid salary and bonus.