The workers of the Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd in Dinajpur formed a human chain and staged demonstrations on Wednesday for arrears pay, re-employment of workers and other demands.
Under the banner of Barapukuria Coal Mine Workers-Employees Union, they held an hour-long human chain programme from 10:30 am to 11:30 am on Wednesday in front of the south gate of the coal mine.
Rabiul Islam, president of Barapukuria Coal Mine Workers Union, Abu Sufian, general secretary, Hazrat Ali and other members of the organisation spoke at the event.
They said that 1,147 Bangladeshi workers have been working in the mine under the contractor XMC-CMC consortium for a long time.
In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the contractor sent the workers on leave from March 26 promising them timely payment of salary and other allowance, they said.
But after the outbreak of Covid-19, the contractor paid only 26 days' salary of March and Eid bonus to the workers, they alleged.
Although operations have begun in various mills and factories in compliance with health rules, they are yet to join work in the mine.
As they have not had a job for a long time, they are struggling with their families, said the speakers at the human chain.
So, if the authorities do not accept their demands by July 12, they will go for a continuous sit-in with their families in front of the main gate of the coal mine from July 13.
Kamruzzaman Khan, managing director of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd said, "We have already talked to the contractor. If the Covid-19 situation gets normal, the contractor will pay the arrears wages to the workers as soon as possible after they return to work."