Garment factory workers blocked a road in the capital on Thursday for hours, but later withdrew their protests on an assurance from the factory owner of meeting their demands including clearing arrears wages and overtime dues.
More than 300 workers of Dynamic Fashion Ltd blocked Mirpur road in the Shyamoli area and placed ten demands to the factory owner.
The workers withdrew their protests after the factory owner agreed to accept nine of their demands at a tripartite meeting.
Leaders of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the representative of the workers were present at the meeting with the factory owner.
BGMEA Assistant Secretary SM Shameem told the Business Standard, "The owner of the factory has agreed to meet nine of the ten demands."
He added that the owner has taken one-week time to decide on the annual earned leave facility, one of the ten demands.
Saleha Islam Santana, president of the trade union Mother Land Garment Workers' Federation, said the workers' key demand was to be given 5 percent annual increment from the first month of the year.
She added that the workers were paid their December salary on January 9.
Supervisors and line chiefs will be paid by next Monday as per the tripartite agreement signed on Thursday afternoon, said the worker's federation president.
Meanwhile, factory officials mentioned that the factory had earlier worked with Walmart, but the global brand had recently refused to place any further orders at this factory because its building was identified as being non-compliant.
That is why the factory is facing an order shortage and the management is trying to run the factory by sub-contracting orders, they added.
After the meeting, Sebok Sikder, a worker, said, "We had a successful meeting with the factory owner and the BGMEA leaders. They have accepted most of our demands. The workers are happy now. We will return to work on Saturday."
Niranjan, a worker, said, "Many workers have not got their salaries for the last few months. The factory even deprived them of their increment this year."
"The factory has not even paid workers for overtime duties during their holidays last year. They usually pay the dues between December and January," he added.
Production at the garment factory has been on halt for the last two days because of the workers' growing dissatisfaction.
He also said, "We observed the programme peacefully."
The road-block created massive traffic congestion in the Shyamoli area, creating serious problems for office-goers, residents and students.
Rawshanul Haque Shaikat, an assistant commissioner of police, said the workers of the garment factory blocked Mirpur road in the Shyamoli area for around three hours from 9:30am.
He said the workers withdrew their protests after BGMEA leaders met with the demonstrators at Shyamoli.
"I had an important meeting at my office. I have already missed the meeting," said Sumon Mia, a private service holder.
The demands the workers placed to their factory owner include clearing their salary and overtime dues by the first week of every month, and implementing the new pay scale for the garment sector.
They said the factory must stop torturing and firing workers. The workers want paid leave if there is no work at the factory.
The workers also want implementation of six months maternity leave.
If the management wants to close and shift the garments factory, it has to pay all dues as per labour law.