A labour leader at state-run Gazi Wires Limited had been in service for 14 years until the company suspended him recently following an ongoing internal investigation.
The leader – Md Masudur Rahman – is an office assistant of Gazi Wires and also the joint secretary of the company's employees' union. His father Golam Mostafa is the general secretary of the union.
Allegations ran rife that Masudur Rahman joined Gazi Wires in 2007 with a fake certificate as a junior clerk using the influence of his father. Subsequently, he managed two promotions and became an influential leader of the union.
In the job requirement, Gazi Wires said the minimum academic qualification was Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) while Masudur applied for the post with HSC provisional certificate photocopy.
Gazi Wires is a government enterprise under the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC), Ministry of Industries.
After receiving complaints over Masudur's doctorate certificate, BSEC this year asked Gazi Wires to look into the matter.
During the primary inquiry, a five-member investigation committee of the wire manufacturing company found Masudur's certificate "manipulated".
Abu Sayeed, one of the committee members and head of Gazi Wires administration, told The Business Standard that they sent Masudur's provisional certificate copy to Cumilla Education Board for verification. The board asked the committee for Masudur's main certificate after finding mismatch in the information.
"We have served multiple letters to Masudur asking him to submit the main copy of his certificate but he did not," Abu Sayeed added.
Referring to the education board findings, he said Masudur's certificate is presumed to be fake as his roll and registration numbers do not match with the education board data.
On 7 October, Masudur was suspended from the company and served a showcase notice. On 1 November, Gazi Wires formed another probe committee for further investigation.
Subsequently on 3 November, Masudur filed a case with Chattogram labour court challenging the suspension and the court asked the company to explain in seven working days as to why the suspension shall not be declared illegal.
When contacted, Masudur Rahman categorically denied the allegation regarding submission of a fake certificate. He said he did not even submit HSC certificate or the appeared copy as he never sat for the exam.
Asked about how he got the job without meeting the academic requirement, Masudur said, "The company can give you the answer why it gave me the job without it [HSC certificate]."
"I was working on a daily basis initially and later the company made the job permanent due to my honesty and experience," he added.
Masudur also claimed the ongoing inquiries into his academic qualification is a conspiracy as he protested some corruption at the company.
Meanwhile, his father Golam Mostafa – who went on retirement in 2017 but still serve the employees' union – also denied the allegation about recruiting his son using union influence.
He said, "As long as the labourers want me, I can contest in union election as well as represent the staffers."
Meanwhile, Gazi Wires Managing Director Md Golam Kabir said they would finalise their decision on the matter after getting the probe report.
Gazi Wires is the pioneer and the biggest manufacturer of round enamelled copper wires in Bangladesh. It was established in 1965 and employs around 200 workers.